Emotionally Detaching From Someone You Love But Can’t Be With

How do you distance yourself or detach emotionally from someone you love, but have to let go of? Learn how a healthy emotional detachment can help you heal when a relationship breaks down. You won’t always struggle with these painful feelings. Your heart will heal, and you will recover your true self. Emotionally detaching from someone you love – but can’t be with – is the first step to healing.

Emotionally detaching from someone you love doesn’t mean you’re cold, hard or emotionally unavailable. Emotionally detaching also doesn’t mean you’ll never fall in love or have a healthy relationship again! It simply means that even though you love your ex boyfriend or ex husband, you have to let him go. You need to become free to heal your heart so you can love again one day.

These tips for healthy emotional detachment from someone you care about are inspired by a reader’s email about accepting a breakup you didn’t want. I often write about healing hearts after breaking up, and am realizing the importance of detaching emotionally after a relationship ends. These tips will help you understand what a healthy detachment is, in both broken and existing relationships.

Yes, emotional detachment is important even in healthy relationships and marriages! I just wish there was a better word for it. Here’s a lovely way to describe it: “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” said Khalil Gibran. “And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

A slight, healthy emotional detachment in an active or healthy relationship means allowing your boyfriend or husband to be who he is. And, it’s about blossoming into who God created you to be without trying to change, remodel, or remake yourself! That’s why I think it’s crucial to “let there be spaces in your togetherness.”

6 Ways to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About

Emotional over-involvement happens when thoughts become focused on the other person in ways that are unhealthy for both the individual and the relationship. Over-involvement can lead to feelings of anxiety, agitation, helplessness, depression, anger, and even resentment. These tips for emotional detachment – either after a breakup or in preparation for a healthy new relationship – will help you find strength and healing.

Disentangling or healthy emotional detachment is about creating enough space between yourself and a man. This helps you see yourself and your relationship more clearly, which will help you make good decisions.

These tips revolve around detaching from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, but can be applied to any type of friendship or relationship. For instance, a girlfriend who is suffocating her boyfriend emotionally or even spiritually is not healthy or emotionally detached. On the contrary, she needs to learn how to stop being the “clingy girlfriend” in a relationship.

1. Focus on healing yourself – not obsessing about your ex or the breakup

Emotional Detachment From Someone You Love But Have to Let Go
Emotionally Detaching From Someone You Love

For others to love and respect you, you have to love and respect yourself. To love and respect yourself, you may need to make changes in your life. How do you need to change how you live and what you’re excited about? Maybe you need to get a different type of exercise, go back to school, or spend more time with people who support and uplift you. Maybe you need to start something new in your life.

To emotionally detach from an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, you need to find a sense of self-identity. Who were you before the breakup or before your relationship even began? Who do you want to become? Maybe you want to be healthier physically, or stronger emotionally. Maybe you want to get closer to God or renew your relationship with prayer and deep reflection. Write down what you want, and start taking specific action steps forward.

2. Give yourself – and your ex – time to heal and detach

One of the most important tips on emotionally detaching from someone you care about is to take a step back (even though your instincts may be telling you to move closer!).

Instead of turning towards your ex boyfriend or ex husband, listen to the still small voice deep within. Figure out who you are apart from your friendships, love relationship, marriage, kids, and family. Give yourself room to breathe by developing your own interests and life. This is difficult when you’re emotionally over-involved or even obsessed with someone you’re in love with but need to let go, but it’s so important.

3. Practice the art of “emotional detachment”

Maybe you invested yourself in this relationship in more ways than you can count: emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, financially, even professionally. It hurts when it ends and you have to detach emotionally (but if you can learn the art of emotional detachment, you’ll be more loving and strong in your next relationship!).

Be objective and smart when you look at who you need to detach from (an ex boyfriend or ex husband?) and why you need to let go. Is this the relationship you really and truly wanted for yourself, before you met him? Would you want your niece, daughter, sister, or best friend to be in this relationship? Did your ex boyfriend or husband willingly meet your needs and respect your wishes? Do you do the same for him, or did you cling to him?

If you had to do it all over again, ask yourself if you’d choose the same man again. There are no right or wrong answers – this is just a process that will help you detach emotionally and let go.

4. Try to learn what holds you back and keeps you emotionally attached

It’s important to know yourself! Why are you searching for tips on emotionally detaching from someone you love? Maybe you’re still in a relationship with an ex you know you need to detach from. Maybe you’re wondering if you should break up — because sometimes you need to start detaching from someone you care about while you’re still together. Before you can detach, you must discern what is keeping you attached and if you really want to be with your ex.

Can you accept your boyfriend or husband exactly the way he or she is right now? This is part of healthy emotional detachment from someone you care about. Are you both willing to do what it takes to work on your relationship (eg, marriage counseling, support groups, or reading books or taking communication classes together)? A healthy relationship can’t happen when only one partner cares enough to try to rebuild it.

5. Remember that “this, too, will pass”

The initial pain of detaching emotionally from someone you care about is usually the worst part of it. I know how hard it is; maybe you feel like you’ll never love again, never trust again, never laugh again…but trust me, you will get through this. It’ll take time, it’ll take support from your friends, patience, and maybe even 40 days and nights of wailing and gnashing your teeth – but you will be happy again. The pain is temporary, but the process takes time.

6. Learn how to let go of someone you love

How to Let Go of Someone You Love She Blossoms eBook

I wrote 75 How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart because I needed to learn how to let go of my sister. Letting her go was the most painful and difficult thing I ever did, but I had no choice.

To write this ebook, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is when you’re letting go of a loved one. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.

The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life by Susan Anderson defines the phases of grieving over a lost relationship and detaching from the person no longer in your life. This book is designed to help all victims of emotional breakups – whether it’s a recent loss, difficult breakup, hard divorce or a wound from long ago. This can be your opportunity to learn how to emotionally detach and get healthier in your relationships.

Your thoughts – big and little! – are welcome below. Writing is one of my favorite ways to work through my emotions, figure how I really feel, and get insight into what I truly want. Try it. I recommend writing in a private journal, with a pen and paper, but you may find it helpful and interesting to share your story with others.


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286 thoughts on “Emotionally Detaching From Someone You Love But Can’t Be With”

  1. All I can say after reading all these comments is that “there are so many hurting people in this world”. Sometimes all one person needs is a crying shoulder or a pair of ears to listen. I came to read up about emotional detachment in hopes to help a friend. This is very helpful.

  2. Thanks for the article. For me though it’s how to disengage emotionally from my adult sons. I appreciated the Khalil Gibran quote. I am taking your thoughts and turning them around to reflect my circumstances. If you have anything specific to that topic not covered above I’d really value your insight. Thank you and blessings to you dear one.

  3. Pingback: Do You Feel Lost Without a Relationship? ⋆ Love Blossoms

  4. Paula omg your story is my story. He lives with me and I have to watch him be in love with gf every day.
    Talk to her on the phone etc
    He goes outside but if she call like when he think I’m sleep he will talk inside for 5-10 min. We were married 11 years 2 kids so this is hard. He lives with her but move back to take kids to school from my place until he gets his own. He goes to her house on the weekend. They work together three years so ain’t no telling how long this been going on. We been divorced one year September 19, 2019… Makes me think 🤔 she been there the whole time Cuz this was too quick.

  5. Thank you for your words of clarity, encouragement and healing. They came at a time much needed. I’m at a very low point in a dissolving marriage (#2) and just ending relationship. Struggling to emotionally detach and you have helped tremendously. Will definitely look into S. Anderson’s book. Hopeful of learning to love and respect myself again. With gratitude. ❤️

  6. Hello. Am Cyndy, my story is similar to that of Shea. Am really grateful for this article, it has been really helpful. I dated a married man for few month and got so carried away in a way I shouldn’t have. His wife is st as yes away and they dont get to c except when his kids have d longest holz. He professed love and showed alt of card to ha I started feeling comfi around him. We work in d same area and we have b ed come strongest love birds. I was doing fine on my own b4 him, but he made me feel better, opened my eyes to my own beauty, so it was so easy to put in my all. Now he has switched. Having different gals now. A n.v d he wants me to accept him like that. I wanna forget about him, but he’s a boss here so I will always get to see him. I guess this what I will hav ed to deal with

  7. My partner of 14 years left and moved out while I was at work he took his belongings and left I’m devastated he has someone else how to I get over this


  9. Hi I am in a situation right now, i share/ shared a wonderful relation with this man, emotionally full filling, he was everything I wanted .. we love each other beyond the words can describe.. soulmate is what I would say.. he is a Muslim and I am a Hindu ..we were planning to tie a knot this year and he knew there would be opposition from mine and his family but he was sure his mum would understand and most to most emotional blackmail which he was ready to tackle, but an unfortunate incident happened ws his mum found out the sketches he had made of me post which there was a big drama in his house, his mum had to be hospitalised due to internal bleeding after the trauma.. blame was on him and pressure was on him.. they looked for a girl and without his consent fixed his marriage.. he tried to convince his family and his mums condition was such if he takes any bold step she would collapse to death. There was no choice left for him . he just got married three days back.. we still love each other but we have to move on…my mind is still in denial state I am struggling to cope up ..I have never felt so hurt and betrayed and resentment .. I have no words to express the way I feel . I can never find a man like him

  10. I have been working on detachment for 6&1/2 months from a Narcissist “older man” ( I am 41)… My world revolved around this guy for 4&1/2 yrs and I’ve never met a more jealous person- where in the beginning it seemed so thrilling! He never allowed me to go to the store alone , never allowed me to have any friends, yet neglected me sexually for three months at a time. Looks like I missed all the red flags… Needless to say detaching myself is been hard.. I feel lonely, I lost my identity, and whats worse… He stopped loving me before I even began to let him go. Only thing I regret is that I didn’t leave him sooner when I knew for sure he was cheating on me instead, towards the end I did some things I’m not proud of out of anger so as we both walk away from each other, he looks back at me as if I’m the bad person, I should never have repeated his BS moves but here I am, trying to detach..

  11. Hi, I would like some advice on how to detach from my spouse that i spend 6 years with. I’ve been reading n spending a lot of my time on healing myself so far. But there is still that emotionally feeling. Tried n thought of what is keeping me attached to her, we’ve been apart going on to 4 months now. She still texts daily but very few words. I would love to move forward in life but I can’t figure out what is it that still has me bound to her. She has a Alcoholic/ drug addiction but says she’s changing her way. But there’s no trust on my part of her. She threatens me with spousal support, maybe that’s why it’s so hard to detach from her. Need good positive advice

  12. After reading the post and all the comments I realized that I am not alone in this so called lonely Marriage . I married young to the only man I fell in love with since high school, this December will be 40 years!!! Had 2 beautiful daughters and just retired last year while my husband still working. My man is a silent type and very controlling, his way or no way. Half our time together is either loving or distant and this is driving me crazy trying to find out what offend him that the silent treatment is on. In 2015. I found out that he is having an emotional affair with a woman 10 years younger and working in the same field . After confronted him, he said the woman made him feel alive and appreciated, I asked for divorce but he said he will stop the affair and promised to work harder on us. 4 years later he still spending hours talking to her on the phone, send flower ,giving her expensive gifts, Last August the woman broke off with him because she had issue with her health and finally realized that this man won’t leave his marriage . My husband came clean and for a short time we made a go with our life. This only last less than 2 months now for unknown reason he stopped talking to me again and honestly I could care less. Now at 63 I am no longer care or trying to pacify the man who refused to man up. Life is too short and I dont want to live my life to please other.

    1. I met a girl. I lost myself to her. I realize that now. In reading this article, I was surprised to see the words, ” finding your identity.” I couldn’t figure out why my desire was so strong. My emotions cried out at the thought of not having her. I don’t want to accept not having her. I cry now, because my heart still hurts. It hurts so much because I took all of me and invested in her. I loved with everything. So now in recovery from this obsession I realize why I feel so strong in not wanting to live without her. I thought I was caring for her. Now i see I was worshiping. I do not want to live without holly because I made her my focus. I took all of me and put into her and our family. I see why identity is brought up healing. Now I most focus on other things. That is why it is unbearable to think to never have her again. I do not reach out, because I believe I should’t. It is so hard to let her go. I relied on her emotionally. Crazy how I never seen the issue. Now, I couldnt figure out why my attachment was so strong. It has been 5 months, sense I last seen her. I cry everyday, when I think of her. The yearning to have her with me is great. I can feel my heart aching and it quivers as if it is going to burst. I made her my focus(identity) and that is why it is so hard to let go. I lusted for her and in the end it has brought so much pain.

      1. I’m a female going through the same thing at the end of my marriage. He no longer deserves my love but I can’t breathe at the thought of a life without him. I can’t give him up. I have no identity outside of him And life doesn’t feel worth living if he is not around.

        How do you get out of bed?

  13. You re so right abut detaching….it does take time. I have had one whole year of confusion and now have decided to detach emotionally while still living together (married 48 years). I fell so much healthier now and can see myself with my own identity instead of only being an extension of him. I love him dearly but cannot reach him so I am getting on with my own life within the marriage by doing my own thing, with friends, going places, and keeping busy. I am so much happier and more involved with life itself. I still wait in case the issue is resolved but when one is dealing with a brainwashed persuasion, who knows! I am not an extension of him, nor am I here to be a personal servant or caregiver! I f I can’t be a partner, I will just be a roommate with my own agenda. S.

    1. I’m struggling to cope with the end of a 21 year marriage. I need to learn to detach while I live with him for one year while our kids finish up school

  14. Dr. Bruce Hansbrough

    This also aptly applies to children who are using family members for material gain and parents who enable, often we must cut loose emotionally from them when they continually commit crimes and disrespect the family environment, without any remorse.

  15. Not exactly my case but a emotionally attached to a married woman. We both did. However smart & respectful about boundaries. Still at times incredibly difficult. I live 10 feet away and makes it unbearable at times. What to do

  16. I married someone that I had doubts about from the day of our engagement through to the wedding day, and beyond -and we’ve been married for 2 years. He is committed to me, but I don’t know why. I don’t see that he loves or likes me. I’ve asked. He answers “because”, or “my brain tells me”. That’s it. The “nice” things he does are out of habit, like making dinner for 2 because it really isn’t more work to just double the portions to have an extra plate for me. When I want to have a conversation about something small that is on my mind, it is disregarded if it isn’t interesting to him. There are clear times when I can or cannot bring up a conversation, like if he’s in bed (can’t be too “energetic” in the prelude to his scheduled wind down time before trying to sleep) or I am in the shower (somehow the water is too loud to hear me). We have a major fight about this once a week because I just haven’t learned that it won’t happen. If he’s not into the topic, then don’t even try. He hasn’t cheated on me, or hit me, or tell me that he won’t do the things that I ask, but I am living in groundhog’s day. I’m just tired to trying to connect with him because it erupts into a massive fight. Even worse, I am painted as the villain who is intentionally starting a fight when all I really want to do is connect.

    I was in a relationship with my high school sweetheart for 10 years, and it blows my mind that while I didn’t marry that guy, I knew him twice as long and never had this issue. That relationship had its downsides, but it makes me question how I ended up with my husband who is like living with a cardboard box. And I mean this in all the ways-intellectually and intimately.

    We’ve been going to a marriage counselor, but I feel like it is a wasted effort. I try the tactics we talk about, but it has not made a difference. It only has made me more frustrated that I try, and it has the same outcome. I was skeptical of marrying him, but became emotionally invested because I went through with it. Now I am looking to distance myself so that I am not so upset when I am let down every 6 or 7 days. Unfortunately, you can’t really be in a relationship and be emotionally disconnected forever.

    Maybe I am being too hard on him? Maybe I am the one that needs to relax, but I’m tired of being in a glass box by myself.

    Emotionally distancing myself might be delaying the inevitable, but perhaps I would care less if/when we dissolved the marriage?

    1. Unreasonable? Mistake number one! Do not doubt your gut as it’s your only truth and is letting you know something is not quite right and warrants further investigation. Seems like you can’t put your finger on it and hearing the seeds of doubt within yourself when what you’ve already mentioned is not ok within a loving relationship already screams to me that you may be involved with a narcissist. I’d like to suggest Letmereach.com for a fair and honest perspective of true narcicism. Best of luck to you!

    2. This person is a narcissist. Been there, done that. It is not worth your time or your heart. Find someone who values and respects you. You are worth it!

      1. -Jamie in Northeast USA ~

        That’s exactly what entered my thoughts,
        while reading this. Too bad it took 2+ yrs
        for me to realize what was going on.
        and then began educating myself thru
        ongoing research. He effectively isolated me
        with militaristic precision, which virtually
        destroyed my social network to the point that
        nobody wants to talk to or be near me&
        nobody really cares anymore.

        Thanks for letting me share.

        -Jamie in Northeast USA ~

    3. Hello,
      I read your reply and wanted to say that I’ve been engaged to my fiancé for 9 months and have been in a relationship with him for 7 years. A lot of what you said sounds exactly like my relationship. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my fiancé “my love language is Words of Affirmation and I need that from you in order to feel love” meanwhile he always responds with “I don’t know what to say” or “it’s hard for me to think of things to say, just know I love you”. I’m someone who’s adventurous and wants to explore states and countries I’ve never visited, meanwhile he wants to live in the small town he grew up in and never leave (even for a vacation)!! We are 100% opposite of each other, have nothing in common, and I’ve had doubts about marrying him since the night he put my engagement ring on my finger. Family means a lot to me and he won’t even try to have a relationship with my dad because “they have nothing in common so he doesn’t know what to talk about with him” (my fiancé has nothing in common with anyone, honestly. He has no interests). Do you have any advice for me seeing as though you’re married and having these feelings? I’m trying to learn to emotionally detach from him but it’s hard because I have no friends, he’s the only person I have. I don’t want to marry him, can’t even get excited for the wedding but I feel bad and terrible because he doesn’t have family OR friends either. Someone please give me advice, I’ve been stuck in limbo since May of 2018.
      -A desperate 24 year old

      1. Hi Ashley,

        It kinda sounds like you have your answers. You need to listen to yourself.

        You want more in life and although you feel for him he’s not your problem.

        Live your life and don’t settle just because. You’ll be miserable and only grow to resent him.

        Either he comes along for the ride or leave his butt there.

        Good luck ❤️

      2. I would strongly recommend that you not ever marry someone you know you don’t want to marry. I did this very thing 25 years ago. Now I am struggling to leave him for good. If we had not been married I would have left years ago. You deserve true happiness. Go find you alone. Know who you are. Then let love happen.

  17. Morning
    Detaching is so difficult when you have an ex who doesn’t know what he wants. I have been dating this guy for ten years. 2016 we were engaged to be married and was pregnant with my second child. 6weeks pregnant I found out that he was cheating with the student from his workplace. I was so hurt and devasted and he never stopped he kept on going back to her. Then he told me he was not ready to get married then I told him if that’s how he feels then we must not get married bcz the last thing I needed was to be a divorcee at at the age of 27. I was staying at this guy’s house since 2014 and we never had any problems until this arised but last year I couldn’t take it any more I moved out with my kids bought a house for myself, stayed in my place and lived an independent life. He supports his kids and he loves them that I cannot deny. I had come to accept that I have lost the man I loved for so many years, the father of my kids to this woman.but now my problem is him. He doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t say he wants to come back but he is forever at my place. It’s no longer about the kids anymore. And he is involving me in every aspect of his life yet the girl is still there. Sometimes I feel sorry for him bcz his life is falling apart and it’s difficult for me to ignore because I care so much about him. I have told him what I want and I told him I’m not going to be the other woman he must decide what he wants. It’s like he is pushing me in a corner now to be harsh and we had a good relationship interns of the kids.

    1. Asanda,
      I feel your pain. My story is different but same bottom line: committed relationship with someone who can’t/won’t commit.
      I found a book called Men Who Can’t Love, and it was a huge eye opener for me. It describes men who get involved in every way but freak out when it comes to commitment. They do okay with kids because, in their mind, this is temporary.
      I suggest googling commitment phobia and reading about it.
      However, same end result. There is virtually nothing you can do but distance yourself and detach.

      I did want to encourage you NOT to feel sorry for this person who has such little respect or loyalty to you, the mother of his children. There seems to be a growing culture of men who lack loyalty and integrity, and yet everyone feels sorry for them. Save your pity for people who have real pain, and focus all your love on yourself and those who deserve it.

  18. I currently suffering a serious case of depression and anxiety. I was feeling confused about my feelings for for my partner of 1.5 years. I let him go because I felt confused but I couldn’t say I was 100% that I had made the right decision. He knew I was ill and asked if I would go back to if I seen sense and my answer was yes of course I would.

    I was asked to move out 2 days later to also find he had went back to online dating. This ripped my heart out. To think he was moving on within data whilst I was sat sobbing, not sleeping or eating trying to work out my true feelings.

    We remain in contact via text and it was all friendly.
    2 weeks later I had contacted him to ask to try again and apologised for my mistake the hurt I had caused him. By this time my partner said he didn’t love and no longer finds me attractive. This news just add fuel to the fire of my depression making it much worse.

    Days later I then find he has put pictures of himself and a girl on social media. Again this was painful to see. I rang him to ask why he was being so cruel so soon. How he could move on within days/weeks when he was begging me to not leave him.

    I’ve tried to figure for him over the last week but his attitude towards me has become so cold hearted. He doesn’t seem like the guy I loved. He’s said some cruel things like he gave me two weeks to get better and he couldn’t wait around forever for me to get better. Hehe said o should get on with my pathetic miserable little life and he’s going out of his way to tell me how he likes this new girl and how they have now been intermit.

    I am finding it hard to fight my illness and to deal with him just moving on as if our relationship meant nothing. I always thought he loved me more now am questioning did he love me at all? How can I let him go and get images of him and her out my mind.

    1. This is a reply to Charlotte your ex is exactly my ex and i question did he ever love me. Mine cheated.on me for 3 and a half years on and off.with emotional chesting with my neighnour who he now lives with after only 2 months after breaking up from a 12 year relationship.and 2 children. Hard to get over this as this all happened only just recently and it is in my fsce everyday they live over my back fence. My heart is so broken 💔💔💔😭😭😭

  19. I broke up with my ex boyfriend of 3 years in late July, it’s now mid December. Despite me begging and pleading with him for the first 3 months to get back together and my desperate attempts to have him notice me… they have all gone unwanted and unnoticed. He never once in these 5 months asked me back. He once used to cry to me and beg me to stay with him. He has a new girlfriend since August and him and his new family acts like I’m diseased. They won’t even say hello in passing. They turn and face the wall at kid functions. It’s muserable and sad. Me and my daughter spent 3 years with this man and his family and he never once said goodbye to my daughter or anything. I feel unwanted, unloved, embarrassed, little, insignificant, disgusting, stupid, bad.. mostly I just feel like dying. I running on cigarettes and liquor along with casual sex to feel my self esteem up, temporarily I guess or maybe try to pretend confidence. It’s a sad life. Christmas is muserable. I have lost all self esteem and there is no confidence to even fake anymore. Just thought I’d share so that a man one day feels conviction. My only hope comes from the fact that God will vindicate me when he answers b4 the Lord. I left him bc he started to push me around in front of my daughter. Here’s the kicker; he just got his BA in theology as a preacher.. ain’t that some…

  20. i have just broken up with an amazing man, the relationship was perfect. i knew him from. school and he was always special to me. after failed relationships i prayed one day that if God gave me one more chance with him then i would marry him. id not seen him for 20 years but two weeks later he come bk into my life and it just exploded we were the best of friends we were perfect together everything was great. my dad & sister found it difficult to accept as they felt it was too soon and that put pressure on us as i met all of his family but felt he never got it back from me. also i have children from previous and he didn’t feel there was room for him in my life or the possiblilty of us having a family together. we stayed in contact but it drove me crazy i got antidepressants as wasn’t eating or sleeping and yesterday we were flirting i was drinking (on top of tablets) and i got a cab to him even tho he said not to… we slept together and i asked if we would get bk together but he still said no, i lost my head was crying hysterically and talking how there was no point carrying on living- dramatic i know but i’ve only been on tablets a week & they take two weeks to work and symptoms can get worse before better. he dropped me home this morning & said he never wants to see me again i’m devastated as i’d only ever had bad relationships and this guy made me so happy.

  21. I read this and many other articles you have written and how beautiful they are. ^^ I would like to bring up something I feel most people on either side of the fence tend to forget: Most are attached to the memories or feelings they once had with the person they had/have a relationship with. I had an amazing friend when I was in elementary school around Kindergarten and she was like my guardian angel. When middle school came around, we hung out less but talked so much more on the phone. She understood me and listened to me. My first friend, however, changed when high school hit. Her mother was a PRN and that meant that a LOT of the time, my friend was stuck at home taking care of a legally blind older sister and a much younger sister. When she got in trouble, it was all day Bible reading. I’m not vilifying this book at all, mind you. Just the fact of how we raise our kids impacts quite a lot of things. High school brings back both sweet and sour memories. My best friend had turned into someone with a hidden agenda. It took me forever before I could even realize what was going on. I have a disability that affects how I see social interaction and the like. The fact of the matter was, she was a master manipulator and came pretty dang close to breaking my mom and I up. My mom is my biggest supporter and fan and I couldn’t appreciate her more as she was the first to understand what I struggle with My mom had tried to warn me of my now toxic friend’s behaviors to which, as a teenager, I didn’t listen and fell like a fly in a spider web. That very evening after I got home from school, my mom told me to come into the kitchen as she was 100% certain the friend was going to try again. Oh, and did she try. My mom told me the tone she would use and I shudder to this day when I remember how it sounded. The “sickeningly sweet tone” as she called it. I listened to at least one side of it and my friend tried again at school the next day to get me on her side. I found a phrase and stuck to it, “I was sitting at the kitchen table.” As she continued to pull me back to the web, my tone got steelier and darker. She didn’t talk to me at all that day and instead was trying to get MY mom on her side. Boy, did my friend regret her actions as my mom told her that I had done the right thing in sticking up for myself. The friend never tried again as I evaded her for a few weeks. Long story short, the day I realized I had truly lost the friendship was the day I realized how overly attached I had become to her. She tried being my friend when I was in college and she went to a vocational school. I kept my true friends close and she and I were not as close as we used to be. Plans for high school reunions and the funny stories we’d share are memories of the past. I stopped being angry at myself and at her over lots of time and a thorough investigation of myself. The emotional detachment helped me sever a tie that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. To most of the stories I hear, if someone you love or think you love is doing you wrong, you have every right to stand up to them. I got rid of a man who was in a relationship with a woman (said all the bs you want to hear) with a kid by standing up for myself and just accepting that he wasn’t meant for me. There were lies he told me and in turn I lied to him. I told him off because I was done and had moved on.


  22. my wife of 12 years left me. She was always cold as ice emotionally, describing herself as “Unromantic, unsentimental and totally pragmatic.” Sex for her was an accommodation never a need. But I don’t understand why I loved her so much and why I miss her so much now

    1. Sounds like my husband… like him, she may be on the Autism Spectrum – “high functiong” or Asperger’s – they can mask their behaviors so it is not always apparent. At least what you describe certainly sounds like some kind of nuerological/emotional deficit. Sorry, but you are probably better off without her. Let yourself grieve the loss of your dream of what could have been but wasn’t – and move on. ❤

  23. I was dating this guy for seven months and I feel so deeply crushed after he started ignoring me a months ago. We got into this dumb fight that blew up and then things after that headed down heal by him ignoring me . Two weeks go by and he said he needed space of course I freaked out and didn’t understand why he would need more space then he already had. A few weeks went by more and he started hangout with his girl coworker sisters and now for the last two weeks he has been with the little sister while they are at work and spends all weekend with her. I am crushed and everyone says leave it alone but all I want is closure l.): I have asked him a lot to meet up and talk as adults but he he says no and that he never wants to see me again. Seriously heart broken.

  24. Is this the same principle no matter how long you have been together or is it only relevant to pulled who have been together a short amount of time?

  25. My story is a little different. I have been struggling cutting off complete communication with a married man, I have caused my self such pain and misery by even just talking to him. I try so hard to cut the communication, but I work and have to deal with him so it’s extremely hard to just forget and even harder to cut all forms of contact. I do love him, but everytime I try to cut the contact, he doesn’t want to. He tells me he loves me so much, we get along so well, connect so well, but yet he’s married for heavens sake. I can’t build anything on that. All I hear are his false promises and he does this so that I stick around and continuing the communication. I don’t understand why he wants to talk to me when he can have that type of relationship at home. I’m just so emotionally and physically drained. Any advice and encouragement to cut the communication is much appreciated as I know I deserve better, but haven’t found the strength to cut the ties completely. Yesterday I had no contact and today gave in when he reached out. My mind, my heart is hearing so why can’t I let go?

    1. I am so sorry that you are going through such a bad time. I really do understand what
      you are going through. I am in the same situation myself and have tried to stop communication but as soon as the text bings I have not got the strength to ignore it and whe we finish speaking I get so upset with my self for not ignoring the call. What I have started to do and I am finding this helpful. If you go on you tube and type in, how to get over a love on by Michael Sealey you can listen to his hypnosis vicious and you will be surprised how helpful it it. I am trying to withdraw bit by bit and each time I show less interest I him. I am setting my self a target to step away very slow and that way the pain is a bit less. It’s give me back some control and self respect. Don’t get me wrong the pain is still there but some how I feel more in control that it’s me who is making the decision. I will get there in the end and so will you. I have given my self six weeks to end the communication. I started my plan two weeks ago. I have started to tell white lies and make excuses as to why I am not about and it’s working with the help of the video. You will move on and find some one better. It’s hard to think positive when your little heart is breaking but trust me you will be fine in time and you will look back and wonder why you spent so much time thinking about him. I will be thinking about you and sending positive thoughts to you. Good luck and try and love yourself.

      1. Such a small world I am going thru the same thing. Loven someone who doesn’t care about me a bit I can’t figure out how to let go. Any advis on how to let go miss swan.

    2. Shea…I am CURRENTLY struggling with the SAME thing. It is so hard to walk away from him. I’ve always been so strong and never struggled with ending a relationship or a friendship. This one is a challenge for me…and EXTREMELY wrong, especially without any support from friends/family.

    3. Don’t give in. I was in love with a married man for years. A covert narcissist. His divorce drug out for years and he finally married me. Seven months later I caught him cheating and found out he has always cheated on me. He has ruined my life. Well…we ruined my life. I can look back now and see how he fed me lie after lie to keep me hooked and yet still I am desperately in love with this man. I feel so stupid and the pain is unbearable. I’m having to give up a good job and move to another city and start my life over with some serious wounds that haven’t healed yet. Ia self medicating to try and numb the pain but have to stop and face life and pain without a crutch. Don’t do this to yourself. I’ll never be the same again and I’m terrified of starting over with no job and no husband. I feel so stupid. I fell for all the lies and gaslighting. All the way. Get out why you can. I’m not sure I will survive this myself.

  26. I am currently getting over an emotional manipulator. I did not realize he was controlling me until I completely removed myself from our home and relationship. And now, everyday I think of more things that he said to me, or things that he did that I realize are totally awful. I knew I was unhappy and I knew he wasn’t nice to me, but I didn’t realize the extent. It was my decision to leave. He has a gf now. They met on Tinder, had their first date 3 days later, had sex two days later, and then told each other they loved each other (he told me all of this mind you- and I’ve seen their photos and messages, so I know it to be true). Worst of all, he introduced this woman to our 3 year old daughter exactly 2.5 weeks after he met her. She stays with them at his house, and they spend almost everyday with her. But, he won’t let me meet her.

    I saw a diagram recently that talked about narcissists and the way they work their relationships. They move really fast. And when I think back to how we met, I realize the same thing happened to me. We met on a Sunday, “fell in love” immediately, and had sex the same week. He showered me with gifts and admiration. And now, I can not believe that he’s doing this again- but then again, I can. He wanted me back and tried to get me back until I moved out. Then he said “Ok, well I’m going to join Tinder. Do you have any good photos of me I can use?” And then the rest is history.

    We currently have 50/50 custody of our daughter and I have to see him every week. It’s hard. I’m so angry at him for being so terrible to me, I’m so upset with myself for putting up with that crap for so long, and I’m so mad that I still give a $%*#.

    So, I made a list of all the awful things he did. When I get upset, like I am now, I read it to remind myself that that wasn’t love. That he was an abusive piece of crap and I deserve better than that. Everyone does.

    1. Sara,

      I am going through the exact same thing. I am upset at him and then I get upset at myself for dealing with him for so long. I try to be nice and cordial to him for my daughter. He continues to express his “feelings” for me then goes home to his girlfriend like if nothing. I am so annoyed and just want to move on with my life and stop caring about him 100%. I liked your idea of the list, I am going to try that and I hope all goes well for you on your journey.

  27. Steffen Kachinsky

    Hello! I am a 26 year old male who, has just this week, had to come to terms with starting to detach from a close friend who will also be leaving out of state in September. I moved from Michigan to Maryland last May and she was the first friend I’ve made when school started in February. In this short amount of time it seems I have become very attached to her. To the point of confusing attachment with attraction and where other friends say that it has reached an unhealthy point especially with how she and I hangout everyday at college. I have also realized that this has happened in most of my romantic relationships and I believe it is due to the loss of my father 7 years ago from cancer. At first I thought I just simply had anandonment issue, but I barely understood what all that comes with. I’ve been trying for weeks to correct this attachment and dissecting it. Telling myself bad things about myself to get over her and keep at a simple friend level, but that made things worse. I tried to be rational with hopes of romantic inclination And the fact that she’s 8 years younger than me and due to her religion, has practically zero experience romantically and sexually and of course “purity”. I feel so ashamed even though she tells me that she’s noticed my attachment and wants to help me detach. But if I have been like this for 7 years, never had proper grievance and tried to fill a hole by desperately attaching to someone supportive, how long will it take to break this chain? I don’t want to feel the pain of this reality anymore, ’and I am afraid of opening up to new people and making new friends when I miss my old friends so much. I know what I have to do, and I’m ashamed for crying over this every night this week, but I have to try. I will definitely read your excerpt on detachment and try to find things to do and try to immerse myself in my piano. I just hope I can fix this before I push my friend away with my problems and be able to be okay when she leaves for her mission in the Fall.

  28. Loved the artical! I found it to be very insightful and for this I thank you for writting it. But there were two ads promoting “who will you marry” and “are you really soul mates”. I stopped crying and laughed for the first time in months!

  29. What do you do when the man you were married to for 28 years turns out to be a fake? My husband portrayed himself to be a spiritual family man at home, but when he left for work he was a totally different person. When home he was a family man, but at work he was flirting, having sex and planning futures with multiple women. Sadly, I had no clue until the day his facade started crumbling. I finally filed for divorce, but have been left with scars and pain. I can’t seem to find a way to let go and move on. Our family has been devistated by my husbands immorality. Yet, I find myself missing him, even though he has caused so much pain. I can’t envision my life without him in it. I keep reminding myself that he isn’t the man I thought I knew. I feel so confused, betrayed and lonely. How could he do this to the woman who loved him, was loyal to him and who supported him in every way? Nothing makes sense.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      After devoting 18 years of my life to him I have to deal with the hard truth that he is a con man. He presented himself as the happy family man to friends and family without so much as a conversation with me that he was unhappy. Beware, it sounds like you may be dealing with the same type of man. It’s been over 2 years since he left and during that time he continued to manipulate my emotions. I’m an empath and an idealist and he knows it and took full advantage. I was desperate to keep my family together and kept at it only to find out he was seeing the same woman the whole time! He’s a fake a phony and yes the best thing to do is run for the hills! The how is the question when he’s all I know. For starters go no contact. He will continue to manipulate and abuse you mentally, emotionally and possibly sexually which is my case. He will because he knows he can. They are selfish cowards. They want what they want no matter who it hurts. He’s not thinking of you he’s not thinking of the kids. Be careful. Unfortunately he was able to do this for 28 years and it’s now on you to make it stop. Think Michelle. Sit and think for a minute. Did he really ever hear you? Did he really ever care about you about what you were feeling irwas it all a front? For show? If you take a minute and think about yourself and hear yourself you might be reminded of how alone you felt all those years with him or how you felt something was missing for you but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it. Just stop and think and then ask yourself do you really want that for yourself anymore? Maybe you should look up narcisstic personality disorder in particular gaslighting. You might realize the problem is him not you. You’re not crazy. You know how to love and it’s not your problem that he doesn’t. Sounds to me that you’ve been a victim of an emotional manipulator…yes an abuser. Problem is no one sees the bruises in the type of abuse. No one around you gets it because they all think he’s this “great guy”. I get it. I wish you luck in getting away from all this you too have to relearn everything. You had it wrong Michelle and it’s ok. Staying with it for so long shows your inner strength and your fortitude. You sacrificed for the greater good. It’s time to think of yourself as a separate entity but first you have to emotionally detach and decide you want more for yourself. Why? Because you deserve it. You got this.

  30. I fell in love with somebody wife. And I mean DEEPLY in love, there is not a milli second that goes by where i don’t think about her. She has kids and lives with her husband. We’ve been together in secret almost a year and i’m Overly attached to her, I feel she’s pulling away from me. She’s not intimate with me anymore, I see her everyday work so it will be extremely difficult to get over her. She brings me gifts for every holiday and gives me love letters but that’s about it. Since recently she has no time for me, she doesn’t even want to talk to me. She brought me a rose and a really special note for Valentine’s Day and then after work she made up several excuses of why she couldn’t see me in private that night. I know she’s not trying to work things out with her husband. My problem is i think she has another boyfriend. I know this is extremely wrong because she is a married woman with kids. But I just can’t get over her and I have no idea what to do. I’m confused, i’m heartbroken and I wish she never entered my life. Funny thing is I have been turning her down for almost a year until I finally gave in and now the tables have turned and i’m Overly attached and extremely hurt. I can’t sleep at nights, I can’t eat. I can’t get over her. I need help. Serious help.

    1. I am so sorry to read about your situation. We can not chose who we fall in love with and married or, not we still fall in love with them. Sometimes when we feel rejected it can be soooo painful and we just let all kinds of thoughts go through out heads. I am in the same sort of situation so, feel your pain. We some times get the wrong message and think that the other person might be seen some one else but, I could be female problems and she is off sex and not you. The rose would indicated that there is still some feelings for you. Try cool it down a bit and if you can, play hard to get. Give her less attention but, don’t ignore her and be nice but, hold back, be slightly codfish and not your loving self. She thinks she can have you when she wants you so, that makes you a bit boring. If she thinks she is losing your attention she will want you more. Try and be strong and resist given too much of yourself on a plate. I have done it myself and got a positive reaction so, give it a go. My thoughts are with you and hope things will improve for you. Good luck.

    2. Just remember actions v words. If she loved and wanted you, she would be with you no matter what! Forgive yourself and her and take the steps to cut her out completely. Anything is possible so no excuses on not finding another job. Your heart and sanity matter. Learn from this and move on. 1 being don’t regardless of any womans advances pursue a married or taken woman. Block her number, her email, her from work. Heal yourself and you will find a better woman who genuinely unconditionally loves and cares for you. Use all your energy on moving on and not on her anymore, even if she wants you back, be in charge or you’ll get heartbroken again. Be strong move on and good luck!

  31. I met this guy just for fun a few months ago he had fun with me and I gt attached now he dont want to see me the worst part is I like him and he no I do. I think he just used me But he’s making it so difficult for me and now I need to forget about and stop texting him how do I do that plz help and he’s a ideot which I should of known at the start.

  32. Laurie,
    I found this article encouraging. I have been in a 10 year relationship ( 3 1/2 yrs exclusive). Honestly it’s a wonderful friendship but I find myself obsessed with thoughts of him constantly. It’s become more and more difficult to stay in relationship with him as I want more but he is happy with the current status. I’m hoping your articles will give me the encouragement and strength I need to have to distance myself from him.
    Thank you, Pam

  33. My story is quite confusing. Me and my boyfriend have been in a relationship for almost 3 years. We have been the best of freinds literally. That’s how we got into the relationship I mean. And the thing is he got no friend except me to share his feelings and day to day experiences with. In the beginning of our relationship he was all over me Imean he used to do things to make me feel special and everything. Now, we talk to each other as if we are nothing but just good friends. Like no romance no nothing. He just things those cheesy things he once did and all these romantic films are not cool. Being friends and treating your girlfriend as a friend is what’s cool. He’s literally freindzoning me! I don’t know if he fels anything for me. We talk about what are we going to do after we mary each other all the time. I feel like he just lost his feelings but not able to confess this cuz he’ll lose me then. What should I do? I’ve asked him about this but he tells me he lives me. I just don’t feel he is being honest.

  34. My story must be the saddest one around.
    I am now after 2 months and a half of break up…and still wish a miracle happened for once to me and he”d come back.
    I met him on a holiday where I was alone, and we continued for 1 year and a half. We were the happiest, we never fought, we got along extremely well and I honestly thought he was the man I always wanted. We went to so many places together, did so many things and have thousands of only good memories.
    When in one of these holidays, I accidentaly remained pregnant. I didnt want that, and he knew I was not on any pills or protection.
    I didnt know how to tell him, but I was sure he was going to be happy and maybe even looking forward to that, I really thought he would from some previous discussions we had, which led me think he wanted a future with me, and a child also sometime in the future.
    His first reaction after I told him was positive, and I waa over the mood, I did not care about getting married, all I wanted was for us to stay happy.
    The nightmare started when he pulled out one of the next days, saying he never wants a child and that kind of responsability. he is 41 years old almost, and I am 10 years younger. he eventually said he would financially support me and the child, and would want to see thd child, but in no circumstances as a family, as he does not want that kind of respnsability.
    So after sleeples nights, after cryīng all the tears I had for a lifetime, I understood that my life was not in my favor, In case I wanted to keep the baby as a single mom, I had to leave my job and my career and the country I live in, as it’s a muslim country and does not allow single moms. i had no way out, and I was begging him tœ stay next to me and offer his help, at least in the first few years, to give us a chance. He was just convinced a baby would anyway destroy us, and he did not want that responsability of a family, he said not now not ever, that was what that event made him realise.
    It was like hell broke loose. I have always dreamt of a family, of a togetherness, and never ever want to wanted to be a single mom, I dont want a child just because society says abortion is bad, I want it from a place of a couple love. I want a real father for my child, a father that can be my man in the first place. We were in New York when I understood that I would have a child that his fathed doesnt want, and that in that situation I couldnt handle it alone either, so we went to planned parenthood and as much as I still tried, he said the max he would do was help financially and see the child every now and then. which was nowhere close to enough for me… I knew I would just be unhappy and this child’s life will come from a place of its mother’s unhappiness and profund disappointment.
    And that was it…of course that after the abortion we broke up. A man that just a month ago was the man I always wanted and had the happiest relation of my life with.
    It took me a month of severe despression to forgive myself in the first place for what I did.
    It took me another month to pass to the reality of my dream man abandoning me when I most needed it,
    It still takes me a great deal of effort every day to understand how he could do that when we were so happy together, when I most needed him.
    I said so many prayers and pushed myself so much to live again… I dont know if I”ll ever be able to trust someone again, or if I’ll ever be able to love agaīn, I am so cold now, in such lack of positivity regarding any relationship in my future. I feel like I”ve lost myself, I”ve lost the possibility of being a mom and lost the man I thought was my soul mate. how do you cope with all this at a time…
    tried seeing few men ever since, but just to distract myself with the conversation, i dont feel any of them would ever have the privilege to be īnto my life.
    Sometime I even miss my ex tremendously, how happy we were, how amazing all was before. and now it’s just a black hole. I know he cares about me but I showed him I was very well after the break up and started off an amazing life. I didnt want him to see how much damage he’s done, wouldnt help at anything. and I am also angry with myself that I can still miss such a person, who did That to Me.
    I hope life will surprise me one day with something else, somethīng good.
    until then, I try to be docile to myself, treat myself kind and be patients with the pain. in the end, mabe destiny worked bad way for me. who knows.
    i send a good thôught for all you sufferīng. I hope the world will be a better place for us. 🤗

  35. Thank you for being here. It takes courage to share so openly and honestly about what it’s like to struggle to emotionally detach from someone you care about. Being authentic is hard, and reaching out for help is even more difficult.
    But, reaching out for help is the best way to move forward. Talk to someone in person, who can help you work through your feelings. I have no cut-and-dried answers — because there aren’t any. Each relationship and person is so unique, and there are so many complex factors…the best way to find the best solution for you is to talk it through in person.
    You don’t necessarily need to talk to a counselor, just someone who can help you see what’s holding you back.
    It takes time to emotionally detach from someone you love but can’t be in a relationship with. And, you can’t detach when you’re still seeing him every day! So, it may be time to cut off contact so your heart can start the healing process.
    What do you think of this? Can you let him go, so you can start detaching?

    1. Thank you Laurie,

      I understand what you are saying and I know in my heart that what you say is correct. However, I have a few issues to deal with. One issue is, I love him to bits and I am a very soft person and hate to hurt any ones feelings. The other issue is, my friend who suffers from MS gets depress. This goes with the illness. I worry if I leave him that he might take his own life. Bless him but he has very little quality left in his life and I know he cares for me but dose not express his feelings very well. I am unsure if this is caused by his illness ot changes in his brain due to the MS. Some days he is happy and loving and then he is low and cold. I get depressed myself and struggle trying to work out if it’s his personality or, the Illinois. I am a loving and caring person by nature and will have my up and downs like most people but I will always express my love and care for him. This is a most unusual relationship. My friend was married but his wife left him when his MS started to progress down hill. I am not judging her in any way but this is one reason that I am finding it hard to detach. I think I am confused with love and guilt. I feel sad every day with the little problems he has to deal with in life. I also love his dog and find it hard no to see him again. What a pickle I have got myself in to. Hope I have not confused you🤔🤔🤔🤔. Thanks for reading this comment and look forward to reading any other comments you have to say. It’s always good to read other people’s views and give me food for thought. Have a nice day😇

      Kind regards

  36. I am in a relationship with a disabled person. He is wheel chair bound and I am a fit and active man. Because of his disability I give in to most of his demands. I am always buying him presents and express my love to him every day. I will never say thank for what ever I buy him and only appears to express his love when he needs sex. I am finding that the relationship is all one sided. The problem is, I love him to bits but the relationship is not good for me as I feel upset and lonesome. He gets more income than me and he has never given me as much as a sweet. I am always the one to put my hand in my pocket. I need to step away from this person but feel I need to detach my feelings first to give me the courage to step back. I want to do it very gentle because of his disability I do not want him too .feel too rejected. When I detach my feelings from him I will then tell him that our relationship is not working. I know he will take no blame and say it’s me walking away from him, but the fact is, he is pushing me away until it suits him. Can you give any tips on how to do this with too much pain. I mentioned before that I loveeeee this man to bits but he is now causing damage to my mental health. 🙏🏽🙏🏽help

  37. 40 years ago I met a young man who I came to care about, when suddenly he was no longer in a position to find me. Life went on.. And I always wondered about him. Well, a month ago I discover him again on social media, and with all the courage I had in me I messaged him.. The conversations became rather intense for a few times and then discovered He was in a relationship with a lady he met online dating. Not only was I crushed by this, when he told me that he’s trying to make a commitment, but was afraid after being burned twice. He said he would bug me on occasion and I was too good to burn that bridge,
    Tried to talk to him twice, but have since realized he doesn’t want anything to do with me. He went so far as to block me from being able to friend him and has yet to block me completely..
    I can’t do this anymore. I’m going mental, working on myself and discovering who I am has always been something I pride myself on. But I can’t stop thinking about him everyday. I pray and mediate and just don’t know what else to do. I feel so sad and many times angry at my Higher Power because the obsessive emotional thinking is still here in my mind. Gawd.. I feel like this will never be over..
    I could really use some advice or comments .. Thanks for listening.

    1. Gosh Kathleene, reading your problem reminds me so much the way I feel and like you Kathleene, I pray and medicate in the hope things will improve. I am soooo sorry you are having to suffer such pain and there is no tablet that can take that pain away for you/us. I don’t know about you Kathleene, but I suffer in Silenus as, people would not understand if you tell them how and why you feel as you do. I am not sure if this advice would help you, but I try and plan a little dream life in my mind and try to look forward to things. Some times it works and other times it dose not work. I guess we just need to be strong Kathleene, and keep praying for some power above to guide and help us. I pray that your pain will ease very soooooon. Good Luch and wish you well.

  38. Just started researching detachment to deal with a situation that is going to become very difficult for me. My friend with benefits has been living with me for months with his children. We love each other. We have a very domestic arrangement but he has reiterated with me that we are not in a relationship more than once and I’ve been fine with that. This situation has worked so well for me. I get to be me, I don’t have to involve myself in his life in any way and I am free to pursue other physical intimacies if I want.
    But, we had an agreement, to be friends and remain friends afterwards if anything happened. Also, that I wouldn’t just disappear because his children have had enough heartache in their lives and I don’t want to be that for them.
    So I’ve been very happy with this. I’ve been comfortable sharing my space. I understand him and he understands me and despite not being good with children I’ve come to learn a lot from his and even have some fun there.
    And suddenly his Unicorn is single. The one woman he would commit to, the one that he’s wanted forever. And I’ve lost his affection, no hands on legs, no unprompted kissing, no holding hands and not even an arm around me in bed any more despite the fact that he’s in it every night. I’m upset and hurt, I guess I was far more emotionally invested than I give myself credit for. I want to start the process of detaching and work on being able to accept it, to move back to friendship and be a positive for myself, for his children and for him. I want only happiness for both of us. I just didn’t realise how much I was counting on them still being around. I didn’t realise how invested I had become nor how happy I was with the situation. I’ve been through a lot in the past month and still have some incredibly trying situations to deal with coming up. He’s been my biggest support through all of this and I’m planning to start detaching now so I need to start working on it.
    This article and the comments have helped me so much to see that I’m not the only one. I just don’t know what to do for now. We go away for a trip together starting Friday and I’m planning to tell him my feelings tonight. I expect nothing back but I need to get it out as my feelings are getting the absolute best of me at the moment.

  39. Dating three years and I can’t stop by unexpected. I can’t stay overnight during the week. We saw each other most weekend days and stayed at each others place. But some weekend nights, she’d disappear and then call me the next day and act like nothing is wrong. She had all the power in the non-relationship. I don’t know how to explain it but I was treated as an option sometimes. We always did what she wanted to do and if my idea was to her liking, we’d do that but rarely did she accept my idea. She did not help me with things at my place but I’ve done a lot for her. She is just plain selfish. She often hacked or made little of my endeavors. I needed out of this because my health was worrying me. I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t eating, my self esteem was shot, and I had no want to do the things I use to enjoy. So I started working out 6 weeks ago. I got a new job. I’m seeing my children and friends more than ever. I let her back in once about a year ago because she said she loved me. And at first, she called me a lot and we saw each other more, but that drifted away. She’s back to her old self disappearing somenights, ignoring my texts and calls. Yes, I’m stupid for letting her back in but I’ve learned about myself. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to enforce them. If they don’t like the boundaries, then let them go. I’m going to find my happy place again. Time will heal and I’ll leave those selfish people in the dust.

  40. My three year relationship left me feeling less of myself and it has emotionally drained me. I tried to keep it going and I could have but it wasn’t worth it. I am an accomplished guitarist. I love my craft. But I realized that I wasn’t enjoying it. My friend “G” always kept me at arms length. I could never just tell her I’m coming by. She only would do what she wanted to. And almost always we would have to belly up to a bar for dinner at my expense. I have children and she doesn’t. I don’t think she understands sacrifice. We’re both 57. She disappears occasionally and says that I’m too controlling. I lost my identity along the way and we weren’t growing as a couple. I helped her in so many ways during the three years. She has never lifted a finger for me. She has never cooked a meal for me (I cook all the time). She’s an old friend from grade school that I fell in love with and she has to go. She doesn’t do anything in her life but drink. I’ve been healing for about 6 weeks and have had a few texts or calls but know that I need to not communicate with her any longer. Everything is my fault and further communication is futile. She will grow old with her drunk friends. Actually, its my fault for falling into this. I’ve never drank as much in my life as the last three years. I didn’t see my children as much, lost track of some good friends, and just ignored my gut feeling. I’m feeling better, working out, eating better, drinking much less, and being more positive. I know I’m a nice person and just got caught up in a relationship that wasn’t best for me. Shame on me for not loving myself enough. Folks, some people are deceptive and or just don’t care that much about others. I’d stay clear of them.

  41. Sometimes, learning how to emotionally detach from someone you cares about means falling in love with someone new… And that someone new is you!

    If you find yourself beating yourself up, hating yourself, and whining and pining for someone who doesn’t love you, then you’re not choosing to love yourself. In fact, you’re choosing to hate yourself and put yourself low on the priority list.

    This is the perfect time of your life to start learning what it really means to love yourself, to choose yourself, and to build your own spiritual and emotional health! What would it feel like — what would it look like — to get emotionally healthy?

  42. The love of my life who abandoned me 38 years ago showed up a month afterI i got married. We both were very diappounted in our life choices.
    He is broke, unemployed, living in another country from his native country and depending on a woman to support him.

    This affair has been going on for over 5 years. We were skipping until he moved in with het. Now we communicate only through email. I constantly chase aftee his love and have felt sf o devastated when he takes it away over and over. This is an impossible love. What can I do to stop thinking about him, stop contacting him, and stop this horrible cycle that is so hurtful to me??

  43. Thanks for the article, there is this woman I’ve been taking to for the last 2 months!! I meet her on a dating site. We started talking and trying to get to know each other. We basically had the same exact beliefs and we agreed on lots of stuff. We really started to connecting and started to message each other daily and FaceTime ever now and then. The problem was that I started to get to emotionally attached to her. I started to rush things a bit. We went on at least 3 dates and it turned out great and we enjoyed talking and hanging out with each other!! It turned out she didn’t really have feelings for me like she wanted to (dating-wise) she told me she tried to have feelings for me but she just wasn’t able to. Because I was so emotionally attached to her. I didn’t really take it so well when she said it would better if we just stay friends. Eventually we needed to take some time off from each other. We eventually cleared things up and decided to hangout as friends. Even though we agreed to just be friends, i still have feelings for her!! I really do care about her. We both want to start meeting other people. And we also agreed to tell each other if we ever got to meet someone and start dating someone, we’d tell each other. There was one other woman that I talking to for a bit, but it just wasn’t leading anywhere and nothing is going to come of it. When she told me that she started talking to someone else, I really didn’t take it so well cause I guess I still have my feelings for her and I was afraid of losing her as a friend. We’ve talked about it more and started to clear some things up and I was starting to feel better about our own relationship with each other. At least we also agreed on when at least one of us starts to official be dating someone else we’d get to hangout for on last time. I figured they’re would be a time where we both move on with our lives, It figured it would be great closer and move on on best of terms. The reason why I was really upset when she said she started to talk to someone else, it was because I didn’t haven’t been able to find someone else to talk to myself. As much as I care about her, I know I can’t be this emotionally attached to her anymore. It’s not fair to me, to her, or any other woman I meet. I don’t want to be emotionally crippled when starts dating someone, even if I’m not currently talking with someone else. I still want her to be a good friend of mine, but I need to remove this emotional bond I have with her. It’s killing me inside. I know it will help if I start to talk to a new person, I just need to make sure I don’t get emotionally attached to anyone until I actually start dating someone. No matter what I will still care about her, even if we are only friends.

    If anyone can give me any advise to remove this attachment I have that would be great!

    1. Robert, I wish I has words of wisdom to share but I don’t. All I can say is that I have been where you are (and may still be there). There are no words that can really help but I take it one day at a time. I have grown closer to a friend who is my confident and serves as my makeshift therapist. Talking out my feelings and frustrations helps me heal. You make a great point about being “emotionally crippled” for the next person in your life, but I encourage you to continue dating despite your emotional attachment to this woman. It is the only way to find out if there is someone else you could share something special with and hopefully lessen the attachment you currently have.

  44. These words are helpful, I am facing startinrg over after 35 yrs of marriage.
    We have simply grew in different directions & have different priorities.
    It is very difficult but taking steps to invest in myself and find what makes me happy.
    It’s a hard journey, but I am worth it.

  45. I’m having difficulty detaching myself from my husband of 22 years. He was cheating on me for 5 yeats with his assistant. I confronted him n her many times where they denied it n was constantly told be her to fix my marriage, but she was the one who is ruining it. After showing them proof, I kicked him m he would come by n check on our children. About 6 months later he wanted to return n be with us, l love with all my heart so I accepted him, but now a year later we aren’t on the same page, he is here but not enough for me. I’m hurting cause everything I know he has done n he never had the time to do it with me. I’m also very unhappy cause he clearly knows what I need to feel secure in this relationship but hasn’t done much about it. So I believe it’s time to discontinue even though is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, for me it’s even worse that battling cancer which i had 11 years ago. Please help

  46. It hurts a lot leaving someone you have tried so hard to bond with…especially when he didn’t bond with you….24 years of trying to make it work…l never felt secure or safe in my relationship with him..l knew l had attachment issues l wanted him to be like my dad had been ..always there when mom walked out..but he couldn’t be that person because he didn’t feel secure in himself…and now lm on my own…but lm hoping it’ll get better.. xx

    1. Dear Lynne,
      I was sorry to read your story about detachment. Gosh that was a long time to stay with some one. How did you manage to detach yourself in the end, did it take years to make the move. You say you are on your own now. I hope you have more peace of mind I feel detachment must be a bit like a breavement and I expect in time the pain and rejection will fade away and you will be happy again, I hope.
      Take care.

      kind regards


  47. I have been married to my husband for about 3years now with 2 kids. Sometimes I really wished I had never gotten married to my husband because I have been the one trying to make our marriage work. While I have learnt to accept the fact that I cannot change my husband, I can’t seem to forgive him completely for cheating on me emotionally and physically with his exes during these years we have been married. I feel so alone most times and have become unhappy which is not my usual self before I got married to him. He seems to think that our marriage does not need to be worked on and I feel it’s because he is happy with his lifestyle. I beg him to communicate with me, I beg him to hang out with me meanwhile he begs his ex to hang out with him. He hardly discusses issues with me, I am tired of begging to be loved, cared for and accepted by him. We have had more problems in our marriage than peace. Currently we are just trying to avoid provoking each other and this is really killing me because this is not the type of marriage I dreamt for myself. I am a very emotional person and I can give an arm right now to be downright unemotional so that my life can be less dramatic. I have read your tips on how to detach emotionally from someone you care about and I really hope it works for me because I really need to begin the process of letting go of my marriage and finding myself again.

  48. I been with a man who I am hopelessly in love with who shared the same feeling with me. Needless to say during the last year or so he has broken up with me 4 times out of the blue totally unseen. I find myself now with absolutely no trust in his words or actions and I so want to believe that he loves me as he says I know it’s something he has been working on because he has been jaded from his past. He breaks mybheart over and over again and I can’t help thinking about it and wondering when will be the next time. He is a wonderful man, father to his children and has a great heart but is selfish when it comes to me in many way. He breaks up out of the blue then comes back and I’m there to pick up this pieces. But this last time has really did a number on my mind. I can’t shake it. I want to be with him but at this point I have no trust. I feel like my head is spinning a mile a min most of the time. I have made him my whole world. I find myself just stuck I know that I need to distance myself because it’s only a matter of time before he has another episode where he feels he wants to be alone but gen changes his mind. Not soon after he breaks up with me he returns. Sending me on this emotional roller coaster. I just don’t know what to do.

  49. Before we get married he had a serious relationship but the girl married another guy while my husband is studying in college, my husband was heartbroken…after 4 yrs we met and fall in love and we got married and have 8 children together …its been 30 yrs his ex girlfriend left him, recently i found out they were phoning/texting eachother i dont know how long… i confronted him… he says they were talking to eachother for about 18 yrs …but only as an old friend!! Last month i caught the very text message he send to her informing her his new number as the old number was about to die… i confront him…he denied first but after frequently asking him he told me the truth(it seems) he says that he had long lost questions to ask her…like why did she leave him then when he thought they love eachother together….
    I really was shattered realising that my whole life was a lie…. i thought he love me… but on a closer retrospection i know he never loved me he married me to start a family… he never helped me(physically) in raising 8 kids he never bother to visit me or my children at the hospital whenever we are ill (his excuse was that he need to work for our family… and i believe him), he never be for my kids either physically, he just provide us our material needs…he never played with his very kids and he seldom chit chat with me, and i cant even share my feelings,problems,worry,doubt,and my kids future with him, saying that he was busy working, that we should not disturb him,he have time for me only when he wants sex, in the middle of sex i had to convey to him whatever i need to convey… he came to bed after 11 o’clock only and i have to ready breakfast and lunch tiffin for 10 people the nextday at 6:30AM if i failed or late he shout at me and shoved me he never helped me saying he works at his den door closed , he was with his family only while having our meal together….
    My problem is that i and my children depend on him financially i have nowhere and nobody to turn to…

    1. I totally get what you are saying. The guy I’m dating is having terrible trouble letting go of his ex. He ran to her twice in the last month b/c he said she needed help with things
      I don’t have any trust or faith in us b/c I’m afraid he will run again. It scares me all the time.

  50. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on emotionally detaching from someone you care about! I agree: it’s not easy, and it can even be painful to separate yourself from someone you once loved…or that you still love. It hurts. And you may never fully separate yourself from the one you loved so deeply, because love never totally disappears.

    If you’re still struggling with the past, you may find this helpful:

    And, if you’re a woman who is struggling to Blossom, please join our Facebook Group! We’re a friendly bunch, offering fresh inspiration and helpful encouragement 🙂


  51. Nice article but when the person is emotionally attach to someone, u can’t get detached easily.
    Detaching urself would be so painful that ur heart won’t let u do that.
    There will be a fight that can’t be seen, is between heart n mind. Mind will show negative points of special person but heart will not listen to any.

    Has to be some kind of medicine so that person can take it n other person can live as per their choice.

  52. Hi I’m am really confused about my relationship I been with him for 26 years
    I left him 3 years ago got my own place he did everything to see me talk to me and beg me to come back and I did since then I have left 4 times and back with him again recently he was talking to a woman saying how gorgeous she was and his ex who is me don’t come close to her cause she’s so gorgeous I confronted him he did lie to me said he hasn’t talked to Any woman till I asked him about how Georgeous this girl was and things he said to her he come out with the truth afterwards cause that girl was me I needed to know why he was up to he says he loved me wants only me I excepted again them went through his phone to find multiple dating sites and accounts and passwords do every one of them
    I could at least 70 sights I confronted him on he said you don’t need to worry cause they are all pay sites and says he is not on them I told him tonight I don’t trust him cause he messaged me said he’s gonna be out for a bit with his brother and won’t be able to text
    So I told him don’t bother texting me cause I don’t trust him or believe him
    He swears he’s doing or done nothing wrong
    I don’t know what to do I love him so much I have been crying a lot im hurt I don’t know if I can handle life without him

  53. I am married for 8 years with 2 wonderful kids. I want to detach myself emotionally from my spouse because I feel that he is being so dependent on me. I grew up with a father that was always the voice of the family while he grew up just having a mother so I am assuming he is used to having the female figure as the leader of the family. He has a full time job and shares financially but he just let me decide on everything and I feel like he is treating me like his mother. Recently he’s been hiding things from me that involves another party I don’t think they are having an affair but I get so jealous because they text all the time and now deleting her messages. He does not understand why I feel the way I feel towards her. I am just tired of taking care of everybody not my kids but I need to see that we are both striving to make our family better.

  54. I’m in love with this guy who has a girlfriend and he’s in love with me also but I know he wont leave me for her cause she’s suicidal. I love him but I think I love because I want someone to love and i get emotionally attached depending on how much i like the person. I want to be able to let go of him because I dont want to be in a relationship like that. He tells me he wants me and wants our relationship to keep going even if it’s wrong and I want him to myself. But i am willing to let go and be happy to move on to better things instead of crying over him all the time. It’s hard.

  55. I’m so glad I read this article it was very encouraging to my spirit, however I’ve been suffering mental n verbal abuse all mylife but now at the age of 18 I’m finally finding myself, because I didn’t love myself enough and set my standards very low without any boundaries but now I’m not a victim anymore I’m a Victor and I’m going to take back my identity and everything that has been robbed from me blessings, Courageous:)

  56. Hey good that I came across your article on how to emotionally detach from someone you care about. Long story short, she is my colleague, we were in relationship for almost an year and yesterday she got engaged to someone due to her parents and other pressure. We both still love each other. But indian relationships involves parents and caste. We have to end this now. But worst part is still i have to face her daily. I have no idea how I am gonna handle.

    1. I’m sorry that u have to go thru this.. life is so unfair. But save yourself some heartache by not stalking her online wedding pics..

      I’ve been there. It’s not easy. Stay strong

  57. I need to detach in a bad way…ill start at the beginning…i was married to a very abusive addict, towards the end of our marriage (I know this sounds really bad) one of his “friends” kept coming around more (we never spoke, I wasn’t allowed to talk to other men. Period) I had been praying constantly over my marriage to either change his heart or mine and give me the strength and peace to leave…well the last time my husband was violent with me he almost completely scalped me, but not a single tear formed in my eyes, not an ounce of pain was felt. Nothing but peace in my heart…i just picked up my son, got in my car, drove to the police station, and finally walked away…his “friend” from earlier, we’ll call him Jon doe, he came to my house that night and told me he’d been coming around more cuz he felt like he needed to check on me…well he ended up coming around alot. He gave me a backbone. The strength to walk into court and face the father of my children who was going to kill me…and I somehow fell in love with him…that was 3 years ago…me and Jon doe have been thru alot of trials in our relationship and for the most part came thru them without a dent…but when he lost his brother, I lost him…the once loving man I knew was now a man more violent than my husband ever was! And ive left everytime. But he always comes back with his worrys and I always tale him back because I love him. I really do more than I ever thought I could love someone other than my children…and now I feel like its time to let go but I cant..
    He just keeps me holding on and I dont know why…we barely see each other anymore but he calls all day long just to talk…i dont know anyone where I live, I dont have a vehicle, my husband got to keep my only vehicle in the divorce, no job, and 2 kids, I know I can build myself back up but I don’t think I can as long as I’m still let him rent the space in my life that he does but i don’t know how to detach my heart

  58. I need to detach. I see I am not because I have this resistance inside and expectations. I want to know who I am and to respect myself. I haven’t been happy for a long time. Some people such as myself seem to lose themselves in their relationships and that is not a good thing! I must get my self-respect back.

  59. You learn how to move on by remembering that you are a beautiful individual, with passions & desires. You can always turn your story around by moving forward and focusing on your passions. You need to be able to channel all that emotional energy to let it out. Love yourself! Truly! By taking care of yourself and the energies that you carry around you. Treat yourself! Listen to more music! Try hallucinogenic therapy (mushrooms, etc) they can help you discover your true self. Understand that you are a part of the vast and beautiful universe and that you’re existence is divine. Love yourself some more!

    1. Are you serious??? Mushrooms to discover yourself? This is the most ridiculous advice I’ve ever heard of but everything else is about detaching from someone you love is bang on.

      1. Wow, what a closed-minded comment? If you aren’t familiar with alternative lifestyles and health and don’t align with them, there is no need to ridicule someone who does and is simply sharing their support and advice in a loving way. If you don’t find someone’s comment useful, you can simply scroll past. Saffy!

  60. I’m trying to emotionally detach myself from my ex I’ve gotten so attached to him and its crazy I’ve tried blocking his number I’ve tried going out with friends I’ve tried everything you could possible think about and nothing seems to really work I need help. is there any other possible way to fix this

    1. I’m in the same boat, Jessica. I’ve had an “on-again/off-again” relationship with a narcissist since August of 2014. Right now we are “back on” but I catch him flirting with other women on Facebook on a daily basis and know this will end, again. I have ALWAYS thought this guy was my soul mate. A psychic even told me that he was, even before I told her anything about him. Anyway, I’d give anything to have a “real” and loving relationship with him. A normal relationship. However, I know it’s never going to be that way. It takes A LOT OF TIME to get over someone that you truly love. I think mine actually borders obsession. I’m not over him, but I figure while we’re currently “on-again” that I need to start emotionally detaching. God willing, I’ll be able to. To answer your question. No, there’s no “quick fix”.

      1. Stephanie,

        He does that to every woman he has ever met and he always will until the emotional tax of his actions becomes too much. He was a mirror and he saw himself and we saw ourselves.

    2. its possible because God says with him everything is possible. Go down on your knees and ask God for the grace to emotionally detach from someone you love.

      1. Amen, it works I’m not truly detatach but it’s a process and when God says it’s over then it’s over;)

  61. Hi

    can anyone please help me to emotionally detatch from a loving husband? Why? The reason I m not comfertable to share right now. But only one thing I can say that I have given more than a year to us to resolve the problem…but it seems to linger on as my love doesnt want to part ways from it. And till a day back I was hopefull of getting him back through my love and care but today it seems next to impossible. I cannot move away from him coz I dont want to and second I have two children to look fward to. But staying in the relation is killing me day by day. Emotionally I m feeling hurt, robbed and numb at times. I have lost the feeling of how it feels to b loved. My love’s love is not penetrating my heart… I cant feel his love though he loves me a lot…or may be as he says so. This is another loss I m feeling…lack of trust on him n myself. I cannot bare this emotio al hurt anymore so want to detatch or get indifferent to him so that we both can b happy.

    1. Smita hopefully you are in a better place now. Your words are what I’m feeling now. I have two small children and I don’t want to put them through the pain of a broken marriage and financial struggle. Im in a bad place emotionally at the moment and just reading your words hit a note. I wish you well.

  62. Hi, I’m hoping someone can give me some advice on how to emotionally detach from a relationship. I was recently dumped by a guy and the pain I feel in my hurt is excruciating. We started hanging out as friends. We were both in unhappy relationships. My ex was living in the basement of my apartment but there was no relations or conversation going on between us. This guy was married but going through a separation. He started pursuing me intensely. Started calling me his girl at work, we worked for the same company. I was in Accounting he’s a truck driver. I asked him not to do that because it gives me a bad reputation at work and it wasn’t necessary for people on our jobs to know about our personal lives. He ignored me and felt it didn’t matter and no one cared. It got back to my boss and he questioned me. I don’t use Facebook because I work in a Corporate office and some things are frowned upon. So I explained all these things to him and he felt different of course. I decided to find another job but I went through a crises with my apartment complex and forced to move in with him. I have no family here and he was all I really had. He complained continuously about me not showing emotion. I explained I needed to get my self together and get my ex out of my life before I move on to someone new. I wanted to give him my undivided attention and sit down and have a conversation about where we wanted things to go and if we wanted to start a relationship. I really cared and loved him but I also stood my ground.
    If I talk about my feelings face to face he puts his head down and won’t look at me. I do the no contact for a week and then I text and say I hope you’re doing well. He’ll sound very happy and text for a little while and then just stop. I’ve gone 2 weeks without texting and he’ll text and say I have mail at his place. He doesn’t say hey how are you just you have mail here. I’ve told him not to contact me just trash it. He refuses. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been compared to his wife on numerous occasions. He would tell me I won’t leave you for my wife or it’s him and I against the world. I wanted to better myself and didn’t care for the hanging out with friends and parting and happy hours. I was trying to secure my future. Higher position in Accounting, higher pay, retirement and furthering my career. I wanted to work on me and get back to where I was in my career before the 2 breakdowns. That didn’t mean I didn’t care about him or love him. I miss him but I won’t go over to his apartment. That would be a bad idea. My heart and mind says let go but my gut says don’t. Please help! I’m open to constructive criticism! Thank you.


  63. hi. my daughters dad currently broke up w me after 6 years. it’s been a month and i can’t stop crying and missing him. i don’t know how to move on. he told me he did not love me and did not want a future with me. regardless of all that i still love him. i feel i’m dying and feel so depressed. he is happier now and i don’t hear from him at all. only when he picked up or drops off my daughter. every night i go to sleep thinking of him and wake up thinking of him. i check my phone constantly waiting to a phone call or message from him. and nothing. it’s as if he completely got over me and it kills me. i can’t picture my life with out him. i try to be okay and i just can’t. i feel this i will never be over it. i try the gym. friends going out. . and. nothing helps. i don’t know what to do anymore.

    1. I separated from my ex alittle over a year now, his doing bc his mother, but it was for the sole purpose to mend ourselves. Ive waited for him to figure out his life. On numerous occasions he’d tell me he wanted to be with me but it always seemed to be empty words and the actions never manifest. Its been over a week since ive heard from him and one can only assume of being deceived.. through this whole ordeal ive felt agony within my heart walking around with a numb soul..not knowing whether to search for love or wait (forever)…the pain has subsided for awhile now, days aren’t so lonely as they were..my biggest advice I can give you is the BIG #1 RULE, and that is to LOVE YOURSELF 1st !! You are important and you deserve to be loved. To ease the pain find aromas and light them around your home, and play soothing melody’s on YouTube while you sleep or whenever you feel at your lowest. Find your activity that you enjoy to release that negativity. I promise you it will help.

      1. I’m waiting for the day when he decides to make time for me again and piles on the excuses so I can say NO, no to being insignificant, no to being taken for granted.

  64. Emotionally detaching from someone you care about is one of the most difficult things we do in life. It’s especially painful when we have to let go of someone we really connected with, because it is hard to find someone who really gets you! I know. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I wish I had magic words to make it better.

    You inspired me to write this article:

    When You Know It’s Over But You Can’t Say Goodbye

    It’s about acceptance, healing, and allowing seasons of your life to end.

    It’s about finding peace and joy, even when you feel sad and alone.

  65. Hi Laurie,

    Over the past year and a half, I have been great friends with a guy who has been in a long distance relationship with a college friend. At the point when I met him randomly at a wedding, they had been dating for a year. Being new in the city he wrote to me out of the blue to meet for coffee as he did not know many people around and I have always welcomed making new friends so obliged. After we met the 1st time, he messaged 3-4 days later to catch up again and I would agree as I was between jobs then and had a lot of time in hand. We both cherished each others company and started to hang out more and more often. I would initially hear about this girlfriend and how they have known each other so well.She even visited him in 1st 3 months of us knowing each other. Despite of that he would always give me that special attention when we were together. We have very similar family backgrounds and even a lot of common friends which we found out only eventually. Few months from then I started working and that changed the dynamics as we got less time to spend with each other. We would still make time and see each other once a week and it just felt very fulfilling. Over time we grew fond of each other and I would not hear too much about his girlfriend anymore. Which made me feel that I was becoming a priority. As time passed though, I realized he was still very much involved in that relation and had conveniently named us to be friends but would expect for me to be around and available all the time. Since I had genuinely developed feelings for this guy, I realized I was continuing to live in denial. Since both of us got emotionally involved, we decided to part ways a couple of times last year but invain. He would always tell me that why cant we be friends while holding onto his long distance relation. Until recently on my bday, when a well wisher asked him his plans to get married, to which he said he would be marrying his girlfriend next year. That statement was not a surprise to me but I cringed. That’s when it hit me and I realized I have been a fool all along the way. He saw me getting upset and was very concerned aswell. We mutually decided to not see each other since then. Its been 2 weeks and we still end up counselling each other over chats that the memories would fade with time and it will all be ok. I’m not sure how to let go off this attachment and it makes me insecure about finding such a great connection again in life. Is it wrong to secretly hope for us to work out against all odds? We do not talk to each other all day as we use to, but a message a day to check on each other is still happening.

  66. Hi Laurie. Thanks for sharing. I divorced 2 years ago and happily could detach as i m the one who filed and theres no reason of continuing as we both not happy again. 6 months ago i met someone which is my dream man. He s single never married. inttelligent, got 2 PhDs n most importantly we had fun when we together. We meet every 3 to 4 weeks. In the beggining he already told me he had painful breakups years ago which took him 3 years.to over it. So he decided to never have any relationship again. He keep.distance for personal. He doesnt have picture of his family he doesnt even wanna show me his mother s picture. I respect him and agreed. But times.shows that i fall in love with him. And he knows. He asked me to detach.emotionally but we still continue our intimacy relationship. Now am in the middle of difficult decision.of ending this friendship knowing he will leave me suddenly in pain or continuing the relationship with the detachment feeling which i am trying to learn now.. I hve read those theories but difficult to implement. One quote that i am trying to tell myself is.. if you love him and he s happier in freedom..let him happy. Isnt love is abput to make your loved one happy? I still wanna have n enjoy whatever we have now..but i know this will end one day..how shud i prepare when the time comes?.thinking as if he s passed away?.or else?

  67. I am currently in a relationship but I want to learn personal detachment because I always hurt because first, my partner often do not spend much time with me because he has his priority other than me. Second, he often forget our agreement, he told me he will talk to me, I was actually waiting but he did not inform me what’s going on, why is it he was not able to communicate with me, he left me hanging and when I open up he tend invalidate my emotions.

  68. 8 years married ,love my significant other a lot,but looks like he is done with the excitement of the relation that he is fully engrossed in his world of friends and social networking ,tried opening up many times but don’t see any positive responses.he is very shallow minded not very forward thinking ,nor smart way ,doesn’t enjoy life and don’t realize the next moment is not guaranteed for anyone,cherish relations and grow in our relation,very different emotional quotients .i an struggling not to get hurt by his insensitive behaviors

  69. Dear Krish,

    It sounds like you and your girlfriend have a lot of history in your relationship, and both of you are confused about what you want and need from each other. I get the impression that you’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about her decisions and your own responses, and you want to learn how to emotionally detach from her even though you still care about her.

    Letting go of your girlfriend is a process of grieving the end of your relationship. Even if you stay together, you need to grieve the end of your sweet innocent dreams of a beautiful romantic relationship with her. You have to learn ways to work through the pain and confusion, and rebuild your relationship with her. This isn’t something you can do alone; it really does take two committed people to build a healthy, emotionally strong relationship with your girlfriend.

    I can’t give relationship advice because I don’t know you or her, but here are some questions to think about:

    How do you feel about the thought that you may never find the answers to your questions?
    What would it feel like to let go of your girlfriend, and start the grieving and healing process?
    Who can you talk to in person, to work through your feelings about your girlfriend? How can you find ways to emotionally detach from her without losing your peace and joy?

    Take time to think through these questions. You need to come to a place of acceptance and surrender, and to allow your relationship to unfold naturally…even if this means it’s over with your girlfriend. Can you do this?

  70. I just came across this 2017 and it was so timely thank you. Good and pertainent info timeless. Thank you. I was abused physically and emotionally by an ex Narcopath. Last night was the last time I wanted speak w him as he also has a drug problem and sex addiction. I have been through hell needless to say. Almost died at his angry hands squeezing my neck a few times abandonment in places many times lied to you name it he has done it… I saw the movie DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN a few weeks back and I could so relate to the wife
    My ex flaunted his affairs and was a horrible person but to others he seems nice but behind closed doors or where no could hear he is an abuser!

  71. So I fell in love in 2013 with a girl who was in love other guy.. later on she started liking me too and we were physically involved in 2013 end. Next year in 2014 jan his old love proposed her on her bday. I moved on and said since u hv found ur old love u can be with him. I don’t want to carry on because I will be in deep love with you and cannot move out later. She didn’t agree and said she wanted me no matter what and their love was no love because there was no physical intimacy no frequent phone calls no contacts and meetings. It went on her way and we were in deep love with each other and plans to get married as well. I used to occasionally asked her to tell his earlier boyfriend about us and clear him that u don’t love him any longer but she never told him.. she always said I Will tell him his time is not good. Now in 2016 when I forced her much to clear things with him she dumped me saying I still have feeling for him.. and when I asked wat about me? Don’t you feel for me? She said she doesn’t know. I asked her- you said u were physically involved with me because you were in love with me and being a girl getting physical matters a lot. But now she say’s everything is not dependent on physical there is emotional thing also. She said she realized just few days back that she loved him. I ASKED HER 1. Why did YOU cheat me for 3.5 years? 2. Where did my love for this many years vanished?. 3. How can u realize just 1 week before that u start feeling for him.. she had no answers. Please someone help me. Your answers might help me recover from this trauma..?

  72. this girl was my girl friend three yrs ago. she travelled and she came back with a baby, she called me to ask if i would still love her with the baby and asked what of the father? the answer she gave was convince(that she gave in for the babys father because he promised to finance her diploma education) but i still love and i want to be with her. here is the case the guy is still paying her fees and as at now am talking she with the guy for christmas holiday though she call and text everyday and tells me nothing goes on between them, i am not comfortable and i need some advice

  73. Dear Kara,

    It’s always difficult when an ex-boyfriend starts a new relationship. I know the feeling; 10 years after one of my breakups, I was still hurt when my ex-boyfriend got married!

    Here’s an article that may help you emotionally detach from your ex-boyfriend:

    How to Cope When Your Ex Has a New Girlfriend

    Also, a question: why do you think you’re still emotionally detached to your ex? What is that old relationship giving you – what are you holding on to?


  74. Hi Sarrah,

    I wrote this article for you:

    10 Ways to Build Your Confidence and Stop Being a Needy Girlfriend

    It’ll help you detach from the anxiety, but still allow you to care about your boyfriend. Also – talk to your counselor about emotional detachment. Ask her for books and tools to help you detach emotionally from your boyfriend.

    You’re already on your way to being a confident and strong girlfriend…just give yourself time, patience, and lots of practice doing things to boost your confidence!

    In peace and passion,

  75. My ex an I have been broken up for two years now. He’s moved to California and I’m still in Utah. I do talk to him and see him every now and then but I think about him all the time. He recently started seeing someone new and seeing that made me feel like I’m going through the horrible breakup all over again. How do I accept that this is what happens and that he and I are just friends?

  76. My boyfriend calls me a “needy girlfriend” and my friends agree with him 🙁 I’m actually in counseling already and my counselor said I need to emotionally detach from my boyfriend because I have an anxious attachment style. I don’t get what this means because I love him so how can I detach from someone I care about? I need advice on how to stop being a needy girlfriend and how to be strong in myself and my relationship. Help!

    1. Question: how did you not become so needy. My partner currently smothers me and I feel like all she wants from me is something to do. She has nothing else in her life apart from me and she feels like a weight. How did you stop being so “needy”?

  77. Dear Twisted,

    Thank you for sharing; it takes courage and strength to be honest about what you’re going through. The idea of emotionally detaching from someone you care about is painful, especially when you’re not getting the love you need from your marriage.

    You need love – we all do – and you deserve to be in an intimate and loving relationship. It sounds like you’re captivated by the mystery and sexiness of only seeing the married man every few months (this heightens the intensity and passion you feel!).

    Here are a few questions for you to think about:
    Are you content to settle for this affair the way it is for the indefinite future?
    How is this affair affecting your marriage?
    Is the affair bringing you joy, hope, life, and peace?
    What would it be like if you focused your time and energy on your husband?

    I’ve written a couple of articles on love outside marriage. The link to the most popular one is below; you may find the readers’ comment helpful and interesting. An affair outside of marriage often gets complicated and destructive, as you’ll see from the readers’ discussion.

    How to Break Up With a Married Man

    I wish you all the best as you work through this situation. May you find peace and love, joy and hope in your life.


  78. I am married and I have been having an affair with a married man for the past 8 months. I don’t need to be judged, I know what we are doing is wrong. I know that this, whatever it is, is hypocritical because we both have ties to other people. The decisions we make are equally hard for the both of us. We vowed to never cross the line where we both feel like we may be catching feelings. We live 500 miles apart. In the beginning, it was easy to separate our lifestyles but over time, it was the intimacy that drew us closer. We only see each other every 3 or 4 months and every time we spend time together, its the days that follow that are the hardest for me. He pulls back and normally I let it ride but this time, I pulled back in the same way. I don’t know if this was healthy or if I am ready to create that distance and start to detach myself from whatever this is. It’s not fair for my husband and it’s not fair for his wife but what is fair for us? We have created this tangled web of destruction and I need to know where to go from here.

    Thanks for listening.

    1. Hi.twisted in Texes im also in the same situation. I see him every 3 to 4 weeks and im really trying to leave him though I am getting a divorce and I do love my lover but dont know how to break away.

      1. I also have an affair with a married man.. while planning to move in together (new city, new job,, no one knows us)…am crippled by fear.. apparently women who get attracted to married women are actually scared of commitment.. I am scared of being stuck with him and ruining my relationship with my 10 year old daughter… I wanted to emotionally detach too.. I love the new job and the new place.. but my daughter wanted to go back to our home country (her grandma just passed away) and she would rather be in a familiar place and familiar people .. friends… am stuck in a decision making rut.. I know the married man is bad for me .. and I wanted to be emotionally detach before initiating the break up or just go No contact.

  79. Through Facebook, twice, I became friend with two girls, their names’ are Muna and Ghof Rane, during our chat we knew each other and about each other’s habits, hobbies and personal life. I fall in love with them but, unfortunately both of them left me. Those were my first test of love which was through social media. After they left me, I was so depressed and used to think about them even that feeling made me artist 🙂 and I started singing, poetry and painting. honestly falling in love makes you different person and gives you very good feeling. but, when it breaks, it makes you mad with so such pain, even now I can’t forget them. but, I have to forget them and I should wait for the real on. Life is long and each day is full of new events better to not stick with the old moments and live your life.

  80. I am going through this with my best friend. I’ve told him I’m in love with him, but rejected me because he said he is damaged goods. As many before me have said, it’s so difficult to separate yourself from this person, especially when you’ve talked to them for such a long time and you get to the core of who they are. I’ve gotten to a place so few have.

    Earlier this week, after he sent me a song that taps into all my emotions for him, I had to let him know that I would appreciate him not doing that anymore, as it makes it extremely difficult for me to try and fall out of love with him. Yes, I did decide to separate my romantic notions about him.

    I asked him to do this for me, because if he doesn’t, I may not be able to maintain any kind of relationship with him. He got very upset and defensive, and I just had to tell him what I’ve been going through. After so many love declarations on my part, I would have thought he would have just cut me out of his life, but he didn’t. People on social media have caused less infractions with him and he deleted them immediately. We’ve briefly conversed about something generic since then, but I have to wonder what’s going on in his mind. Any ideas?

    1. Hello Domino.
      I have to ask, is this relationship online between the two of you? Does he have a girlfriend? To me, it makes very little since why he’d continually pull away & not reciprocate or acknowledge your feelings, unless he does. To me, this man seems very insecure IMHO, any way you slice it. His ego is boosted by you, which he needs to satisfy his insecurities. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but you deserve someone who is willing to love you back & make you feel like you’re that special person in their life.
      I clicked on this website because I needed to find out if taking a break from my SO for a few days to evaluate my relationship would be alright; I really need a break because emotionally and physically, I am so drained due to my partner being selfish. I feel so sorry that you’re going through this, but maybe you should take a few days for yourself too to evaluate if this man enhances your life or hinders it? Are your needs being met?
      Best of luck to you.

      1. Hi Kasey,

        It is all through FB messenger, he does not have a girlfriend and hasn’t had one for some time.

        I barely knew him in high school and we hadn’t spoken for over 30 years, but we’ve been good friends for about a year and a half.

        Recently, on Friday, he decided to send me a photo if himself with a self-deprecating comment about “there you go, now you can run and hide”. I’m even more confused.

        He has no pics of himself on FB or anywhere for that matter, he just doesn’t do that. So, now I’m left wondering why he did it.

        Thank you for what you said. Obviously, this entire situation is confusing. I feel like he’s testing my resolve. I just don’t know what to do.

      2. Kasey,

        I’m also sorry for what you are going through. At least he isn’t my boyfriend, but it’s nonetheless painful. I’ve cried a lot over him and about this, and I know he needs me and cares for me and wants my friendship in his life, I don’t know if I’m able to separate myself from my love for him. (sigh) It’s just so hard. He has fibromyalgia and he’s lost many friends. He trusts so few people, I’m afraid I will hurt him. He has revealed so much about himself and his life to me that if I left him I would feel like I betrayed him. He’s at a low point and he needs me. The majority of the time I feel completely used by him.

        We both need someone to love us back the way we need to be loved. These are baby steps for me. One day I’ll be able to cut him off.

  81. It has been one month and 2 days since I seprated from my partner… we became good friends about 6 years ago and our relationship began 3 years ago as well as moving city and living together. I worked part time, studied and kept house while he worked in the gold mines. I feel in love with him firstly because he was your typical ‘bad boy’… we have always had SO much fun together. We’ve traveled our country (New Zealand), roadtrips, adventures, shared new experiences together, worked bloody hard and played harder. His past relationships and his parents relationships were all ‘toxic’ of some kind and from the age of about 15 he built up this ego that not even me (who kissed the ground he walked on for 3 years) could break down. We had our tough moments in the 3 years where he would do hurtful things or react in hurtful ways regularly but I stayed because I wanted to prove to this guy that I was different to every girl he had been with and I deserved to be treated better!
    The crying, letters and long messages never got the message across to him that I wasn’t always happy. In the end it wore me down. Friends would ask me “do you see yourself marrying this person?”‘…. The answer that first would pop into my mind was “No”…. before defending him and justifying why I thought that.
    In the end my friends provided me with a spear room and offered to help me move my things. Suprising myself…. I said yes instantly and we moved everything that day. When he came home from work he was so utterly shocked ans heart broken and I still love him so hurting him was the most unbearable feeling ever. Over this last month we’ve met maybe 4 times and had 2 phone calls. Over this time he has pulled almost absolutely everything out to get me back… he has let his guard down and cried for weeks, given me flowers, attended counseling, started meditation and a personal growth course amoung many other things because he is determined to be a better version of himself and ultimately win me back. Last night we met for what we said was the last time and said our goodbyes. I feel like I am letting go easier than him but it still is a horrible pain and all the doubt is still running through my mind. We had so many plans in store… so many and I won’t give him a second chance. I’ve not once said there was a possibility of us getting back together purposely because the last thing I want to do is lead him on and hurt him more than I already have. I guess I came here to this blog for answer on how to emotionally detach from someone you love, stories and advice of how to let go of someone you love deeply…. how to cope with the fact that the person you love is hurting and all you want to do is fix it but your causing it. Heart break is horrible….

  82. Emotionally detaching from someone you love is painful, and there is no easy way out. The two things that helped me most were:

    1) Finding supportive, positive, healthy people who were willing to walk alongside me
    2) Accepting the grief and pain that comes with ending a relationship.

    There are no easy answers – it’s just taking it one step at a time, and finding strength from above to help you move forward. You need to figure out your first step…and just take it. Use books to help you through, call womens’ help lines when you need someone to talk to. Lean on people, be honest with them.

    Find in-person support. Online articles are a good starting point, but you really need to reach out in person to get the right information and support as you detach.

    I find books incredibly helpful – but blog posts are good, too! Here’s one that might help:

    What to Do About Your Relationship Problems

    May you find peace and joy in your life. May God fill you with strength, faith, and courage to let go of unhealthy people and connect with healthy, positive, life-affirming forces in your life.


  83. I am in a really bad place. my bf of four yeard is addictef to porn gambling and deugs. he is emotionally abusive. i kniw i need to get iyt of this relationship but iþhave no job no car no money no famiæy or friends that can help me. i feelworthless and just want to end it all. I vontacted my lical domestic abue shelter. they rederrd me to coubseling but the counselir refused to help me until im.out of his home. i need help to bevome string and self sufficient enough to leave. i did actuslly leave fir twi mobths buti thought he was wulling to worj.with ne instead its inly gotten worse. im lost alone and fellungs pretty broken. any suggestions woukd be grestly appreciated.

  84. Hi, it is me again… I mentioned in the comment below the man I try to get over / to detach from him.

    And I have mentioned my sister whom I believe a narcissist. With my sister I had sort of the problem of obsessing over her too and I have succeeded in detachment with her, so this is why I am commenting here again.

    First I tried to talk to her, to give her the chance to see what she is doing to me and to change!
    But this ended not well, first of all she yelled at me that I didn’t have the right to basically feel the way I do, and then, that I am not allowed to tell her what to do, and then.. in the end, which was the most crazy thing, she did it even more and with more meaningful things, the stealing-thing. It got worse after I told her. THAT WAS THE END FOR ME…..

    Step One was:
    Admit that there is a problem.
    Step Two was:
    Realize that I cannot change her, only myself, my own behavior
    Step Three was:
    thinking WHAT exactly hurts, like… describe the issues to myself in an exact way… gain clarity, read about narcissism… learn to trust my feelings, that she made me angry, that she just did it again. I started a sister-diary and I wrote how every encoutner with her went..
    SO STEP 3 was really learning, trusting myself more, analyzing… watching her..

    step Four was:
    what i did was making like two pots in my mind: like the stuff I give away to people i really trust, like…. actually, INTIMACY.. like anything that is truly of importance and meaning to me is in that pot.
    And the other pot was like… like the things I would talk with a coworker, or just… well, courtesy, brief talks, small talks, little compliments… superficial talk…

    So step Five was:
    Sorry, Sis, but you wont get any of the meaningful stuff from me anymore! You don’t deserve it! So it is just the brief, supreficial, short, smalltalk kind of thing she gets from me. And mostly I just lsten to her and let her be the one all the spotlight is on… I just wont give her anything of me anymore!

    So step 6 is:
    Watching her….
    See that she is like she is to others too…
    NOW I Have AIR between us… space… distance actually…. and she cannot steal from me because of this distance. It feels good.

    She is my sis, I in a way still love her. But apparently we cannot have the relationship that I inicially thought we could have or we had. I had to realize that I have to step back very much with her. And I just do, but that way, she cannot hurt me anymore and that is all I wanted.

    So with my sis, I found a solution! 🙂

  85. thank you for an amazing article. I googled detachment because I cannot forget somebody who has said, shown and made me feel that he has no interest in me anymore. So I totally know it is over, but somehow I still keep longing for him, go visit his FB, look up his new flame and so on. It takes a lot of energy and time from me, and I still am very upset at times and I cry and I am desperate over having lost him.

    I am in therapy too at the moment. The therapist told me that she thinks I might be dependant/codependant type or having some traits of that. This makes sense, because over being totally obsessessed with my ex, I also had that sort of dance with my sister who I believe to be a narcissist. (I also think my father is a narcissist, so…. guess I might have grown up in a dysfunctional family…) And I am the codependant/dependant type. The one who always puts his needs behind others, the one that feels guilt for when others feel bad… SO what I want to say here is that IF you are struggling with a loss of your own identity by obsessing about somebody you love, MAYBE you have issues with codependancy as I do as well, so MAYBE it will make sense for some of you to also read a little bit about codependency. It is all about being confident in yourself again, and not let anyone walk into your mind with dirty boots and also to not give anyone the importance of being able to destroy you (this is what that pain of break-up feels like…) like, it is all about being WHOLE on your own, not nNEEDING anybody to love you, not depending on another being for being loved… but to have a nurturing relationship with yourself…

  86. Hi i am 27years old Ranvinder Singh from india , i was in a relationship with a 27 yrs old girl named khushmeet. she is beutifull , well educated , honest. but as in india intercast marriages are so problematic i suggest her to marry to another guy or we can go abroad to start a fresh life. she denied to get married with another after sometime she engaged with a guy who is 40 years old, divorcee and living alone without parents, and told me that it is all set by her family. all of her friends who met with that guy rejected him because he is such a fake kind of personality. but she was chating with him over whatsapp and lying to me that she will leave that guy after some time convincing her parents, i had the number of her fionce and noticed they chat late nights and in day all of ‘last seens’ were together at same time. but she was saying that she will leave him with some time , thats what i could not bear and i blocked her from all internet connections. is it good to do this? i care for her future because if i m wrong with her decision to marry that old person her friends cant be wrong there. dont know what will happen and i overthink about her future and my futrure also.

    this is not good to me

  87. I’m in a 1 year and 6 months relationship with my first love and at first he was so kind hearted, honest and respectful kind of man and then after just 6 months he change slowly, at first, he lies with just small things and then it gets bigger. It’s unbelievable but I gave him 20 chances already, and last month we fight again because he always lie to me like everyday, then after that we didn’t spoke again, for 3 weeks he don’t even say sorry to me. He just left me without any word.
    I just can’t accept that for all the chances I gave to him and this is what he will do to me. Also, one of his friends said that he wants me to apologize first before he will start to talk to me. I want to move on completely because he already move on and he already have a new girl talking to in just 3 weeks. Please give me advice because I was so dissapointed and angry . Thanks

  88. I was in a 6 month relationship and he still wanted to date other women and not commit to just one, so we broke up. I cared for him very much but wasn’t going to continue a dead end dating with benefits. He still sends me text messages asking how I’m doing and that he thinks about me often. Even mentioned showing up at my house unexpectedly for a visit. I don’t want to receive these messages, is it normal to feel that way? I guess I feel like there is something wrong with me because I haven’t moved on completely and he has. Thinks we should be best friends. It’s been 3 months since we split.

    1. Sorry to hear u dealing with ur emotions….however you has to respect ur self and love ur self first… It sounds to me that men don’t respect another human been specially a women since he come out from one… If you really wanted this men you need to disconect from him complety… That would do it if is for you or not. In the meanwhile star enjoying ur self with things u like to do… You will surprise how the time will give u the best answer…. Remember something, you are number one!

      God bless you and love you

  89. I bless God for your life. I feel a lot better now knowing fully well that I’m not alone in looking for a way to detach from a man I see as my all in all. Though what I’m about to share is one way different from others, I believe sharing this is a step to detaching myself from him.
    This year would’ve been my 12th wedding anniversary, unfortunately was only married for 4yrs. My husband and I got married in 2004. I was the naive type, no male or female friends except my siblings n my mum. On our wedding night during love making, I had bruises cuz it was my first time n ended up in d clinic. We met counselors afterwards cuz I couldn’t bear my husband’s touch. Every love making was torturing for me. I explained this to him, read books, google ways of making love without pain n tried every time to prepare myself for him before he comes back from work, but my husband distanced himself from home. When he’s in the mood, he does his thing n cared less about my mood. When I couldn’t bear it anymore, I told my mum n she tried counselling him to be gentle in a way, instead my husband said I was rigid n inexperienced. We stopped communicating. I got lonely in my home cuz he started coming home late. I still stayed up late to speak with him, but he sleeps off the moment he gets home. This went on until I got pregnant 2yrs after, gave birth to my daughter, 3 months after, my best companion (my mum) died. My husband started showing another trace of character. He cared less about his daughter. I begged, talked with him, prayed for him, but got nothing. A yr after, I met a married guy during one of my contract jobs, we started talking, I saw a new companion in him, sharing my heart with him, but unfortunately during one of our conversation on phone, his wife heard him n called me to stop talking to her husband, which I did cuz she really abused me n I felt bad about it. When my daughter clocked 2yrs of age, my husband said we should leave his house cuz we can’t be together. His family threaten me, he eventually packed out of home. When I couldn’t afford the rent with a daughter to raise, I moved out of my home to my dad’s place. Meanwhile, I couldn’t stop thinking about my married guy. He was a dream come true man. He happened to be my only friend, but he’s married. 6 yrs of leaving home n still with my dad n my daughter growing, this guy called me for a job, which i gladly took cuz I needed the money at that time. Didn’t mention that I’m an Engineer. During one of our site visitation together, we had lunched n i realized I was in love with this guy all this time. We started dating n since he was aware of my encounter with love making, he took his time with me on the day we made love. It was my first time of proper love making, no pain. He pampered me, took me places, he gave me d best birthday, no gift but memories I can never forget in my life. He treats me like a queen I longed for from my husband, he listens to me, he listens to my heart, but he said to me “I’ll be everything to you, but I cannot marry u”. I know this. I’m not sure I even want his wife to abuse me again if she finds out. So, we meet secretly. Watch movies together. I smile everyday thinking about him. He’s my best friend now, but I know I have to end this cuz there’re days I long to speak with him, especially wkends that I cannot cuz he’s at home with his family. We’ve been dating for almost 2yrs now. Since late last year, I’ve been trying to end this cuz I see the guilt in his eyes when his wife calls n I’m with him. Or when I need him n he couldn’t make it, he will go extra mile to make sure he leaves me smiling. He pays my daughter’s school fees now. I need to leave the guy. For 2 days now, I’ve not spoken to him. He’s been calling n it’s so hurting not picking his call cuz I know he will be worried. He came to my office today, but couldn’t enter since I told the securities I don’t want to see anyone. I’m sure he’s going to come to my house soon. I’ve tried breaking up with him. I even wrote him a letter one day, but tore the letter the moment I saw him. Pls help me. I’ve prayed for something to happen. Guess that was why I saw this site this evening.
    Not that I didn’t meet guys in d last yrs, sex actually scared me away from men n wasn’t sure any man will tolerate my inexperience. N guess what? My husband is married with another kid now. I still call him my husband cuz we’ve not divorced after 8yrs. I need to move on too. Pls help me.

    1. My feeling is that you are looking for love and you believe you found it with this married guy. My advice for you is that you leave the married guy as he will never be yours, while it is still early and go be madly in love with Jesus Christ, He never disappoint anyone. Jesus Christ if you do believe in him will carry you through the difficulty. Commit to loving yourself and taking care of your child. The best you can do is join the local church and do activities that make you happy and that will help you forget about this guy. I am sure you can now afford to pay for your child school fees and make ends meet, if not then sacrifice something like go live in a cheaper area to free some cash.

  90. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Shana, what would help you work through your feelings?

    It is possible to learn how to emotionally detach from someone you care about…but you need to figure out how. It’s a grieving process. What has helped you grieve in the past?

  91. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Tony,

    It sounds like you really care about her, and you took a big risk in sharing your feelings. It’s so difficult when someone we love doesn’t return our feelings…and sometimes the only thing we can do is focus on letting go. We need to trust God that this person isn’t meant for us, and that we need to learn how to emotionally detach without letting our hearts go cold.

    What advice would you give your brother, if he was going through the same thing?

  92. I recently made the choice to end my relationship with my boyfriend. I keep telling myself I made the right decision because there were many signs. We first met in middle school. He was a twin, tall, good looking and him and his brother were very popular. The fact that he liked me baffled me. We stayed together until high school. He was the first person I was ever with. I broke up with him then because I just couldn’t shake the idea that he would break my heart eventually. 28 years later we reconnected through Facebook. I thought it was wonderful. He seemed so nice, honest, it was like we picked up right where we left off. We seemed to have so much in common. We would talk on the phone for hours. The only draw back is I had moved away from our hometown a long time ago. That didn’t seem to stop him. He told me I was the only woman he’d ever loved even one marriage and one long relationship later. He made a trip to see me and it was wonderful. He decided he was going to move here. It just all seemed like a fairy tail. Needless to say, it never happened. His exes whom he had children with made it very difficult for him. Everything was working against him. I was actually waiting for him to end things but he didn’t. He seemed determined to stay together. There was a lot of pressure though and sometimes he started to be very vague about his feelings. At one point he even disappeared for three days. That probably should have been the biggest red flag but I stuck it out. Eventually he came around and apologized and said he needed to get away. We continued our relationship and I made it a point for us to see each other. Me flying to him and vice versa. But I couldn’t past the nagging feeling that things were changing. I asked him if he felt different since he couldn’t move and he’d always tell me no. But time went on and sometimes he would seem very distant, like he was detaching himself from me but never really telling me. It was very frustrating. I found myself crying so much. He started a new job a few months back and that seemed to seal the deal. I have tried to be understanding that it takes a lot of his time but it just wasn’t the same. The guy who wrote me everyday and called me everyday would barely talk to me. The guy who was always so excited about talking said to me “I’m just not used to it” I never really experienced the silent treatment with someone until I met him. Now, I know how bad it really is. I finally decided to completely lay out how I felt to him. He has decided to not talk to me. It’s so heartbreaking. I’m glad I ran across this article and others from here. It will help me get through each day. I don’t know if we’ll ever talk again. He seems determined to punish me through his silent treatment and I know that is never a good sign and I know I don’t deserve to be treated that way. It’s just so disheartening when you have to learn the worst about people and you can’t work through it.

  93. Hi Ms Laurie my name is Tony. I really need some advice. last month I contacted a female friend of mine who I used to work with a long time ago. It was her birthday and I sent her a card and my phone number. so we started talking and she spent Christmas day with me.well I have been in love with her for a long time. I told her how I felt. I asked her if we could hang out. I know I probably tried to hard. Mind you we hadn’t spoken in five years. Around New year’s day her text message just seemed cold and detached. she blocked my number. This has been eating me up and she really broke my heart. I thought if she was my friend that she could have talked to me. Not abandon me and throw our friendship away. I have been so lost. any advice would be so appreciated. Sorry this was so long. Thank you.

  94. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how hard it is to detach from someone you care about. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and that you feel stuck and helpless. I hear your pain, and I wish I had magic words to make things better.

    Giving advice isn’t my strength – I never feel comfortable telling people what to do! Plus, I don’t give advice because I don’t know you or your relationship the way you do. You know yourself better than anyone, and deep down you know what to do.

    Get still, and ask yourself what you need out of your life. If your boyfriend can’t give it to you, then you need to make a choice.

    If you’re not ready to detach from him, here’s an article that might help you see your relationship differently:

    How to Make a Vision Board for Your Relationship

    Another option is to reach out and talk to someone in person, so you can get the best possible help and support. Here is a list of national resources and hotlines that provide anonymous, confidential information to callers. They can answer questions and perhaps even give you advice.

    Phone Number: 800-442-HOPE (4673)

    National Domestic Violence Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

    National Sexual Assault Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-273-TALK (8255)

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
    Phone Number: 800-826-3632

    I hope one of these organizations is able to give you the help you’re looking for. May you find peace, courage, strength, and healing as you move forward.

    Please do come back anytime, and tell me how you’re doing.


  95. I have been in an on and off relationship for the past 3 years. Currently having our second child together. Not a lot of time to get to truly know someone, but well enough to know that the effort has definitely stretched our time together. I could pour my heart out to him, and he wouldn’t bat an eye. I’ve seen him cry twice and the second was over a pair of work coveralls. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know myself well enough to see that if it were someone else, I would have ran for the hills years ago. But I think im obsessed. Ive had past abusive relationships that destroyed my self esteem, and when he came around. It was like this light in my life. I thought, I really could love again. That lasted for nt very long, and as I look back now. He preyed on my vulnerabilities, took advantage of my feelings and still does to this day. You know when people say they get comfortable in a relationship, they stop putting in the effort to keep their partner because they feel as though that person will never leave them. That’s him and he prides himself in getting away with all that he has done.. After reading this, I don’t know how I could have let him have such power over me and my life. Apart of me knows I can’t blame him for everything wrong. But that same part put up with it for so long because of our wonderful son. When I think of the past, it wasn’t as wonderful as I once thought it was. He was always distant and quiet. Not really with me for me. And maybe I was the same way too… But this relationship and its problems have consumed my life and my happiness. My integrity and hope was washed away when he broke my heart. I’ve taken so many steps back to get a real look at the relationship for what it is, only to be sucked right back in, pretending like this is truly all I deserve. How can you ever see clearly and peacefully detach from something your addicted to? Its obviously unhealthy for me to keep going back.. I just don’t know if I ever will stop. Is the problem me… I wonder every day how will I ever move on and be happy if my life is not with him.

  96. Ive been with this guy for 1 and half years hes been a dad to my daughter and we have a daughter together. He use to be tge sweetest thing towards me however after i had our now 5 month old daughter everything has changed. Hes left me twice and we got back together we live together however hes told me hes falling out of love with me then turns around and tells me hes sorry he shouldnt have said it. Lately hes been distancing himself from me he says because hes stressed but its to the point now he hardly says i love you never kisses me unless i kiss him never hugs me and even when i hug him he just flops his arms around me and stares anywhere he can. I try to tell him how i feel and he says its a personal problem that its BS and my fault i feel that way. I try to explain his actions and lack of emotion are why i feel the way i do and he tells me im just making a bigger deal than needed and that if i keep it up well be over fast. I tell him i want to cuddle sometimes i want a random kiss a i love you that doesnt sound forced and he says i need to do the same but i dont think he realizes i do every night i ask to cuddle every nighthe says no. I ask if i can kiss him and seriously who asks that kinda thing i feel i have to ask permission to kiss hug cuddle talk any thing everything even the more intimate things i ask for. He tells me its my fault we fight but truth is hes quick to get mad even just a question gets me in the dog house. I feel like hes over me i feel he wants us done but when i ask he says if thats what he wanted hed tell me to leave. Ive changed my entire life for him i Litterally have nothing to go to if we seperate id be starting all over again and i swore it wouldnt be this way. He was so different when we first started dating now he just saya people change. I feel its more than that. Its not just him its the way he talks to me the way he treats me the way he acts towards me. Im hurting im lost and confused i dont want us over but i dont want to stay some where if im not wanted. I do t want it to end but i also dont want us hating each other.. Help please advice anyone….

  97. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Is it possible to create a life that doesn’t involve that person being in front of you all the time? Such as, quit that job and make a major life change?

    It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, and the best thing…..

  98. what if that person is in front of you all the time? and you still have to detach from them emotionally? what to do in that situation?

  99. Thank you for sharing your experience with detaching from someone you care about. Overcoming the pain of losing someone you love is so difficult….and I don’t know how to give advice or guidance about overcoming it.

    “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – said Winnie the Pooh.

    Is there anyone in person that you can talk to?

  100. I don’t know that I should even be responding to this. I was married 21 years then divorced because he wouldn’t take my needs seriously….in fairness to him he knew he didn’t have too because I loved him enough to always make it work even if he didn’t try……I think it’s time you gave your needs some value Peter. You can’t love another person enough to take care of their needs and your own while they totally disregard you….. I know becuase I tried for many, many years. I wish you the best.

  101. I’m pregnant and we broke up. I feel so lost. I’m really telling myselfto shake this. I ccan’t stop constantly thinking about him. It hurts so bad. How am i supposed to do this?

  102. Ok , I found out my wife was seeing someone else the weeks ago and we are Finacialy forced to live in the same house she continually lies about talking to him and seeing him but she makes it too obvious we have been together 17 years and married 15. I have not been the greatest husband through these 17 years and I have changed greatly over the last 5 years but she is emotionally abusive and verbally abusive but I love her more than anything . I beleive she is playing me between this other guy who she has known from high school and she isn’t ready to let me go at my expense … she is jerk ing me around and says she doesn’t 2ant me to leave the house. She wants all the stuff that our marriage consists of but not me … and Im confused and hurt but I think I’m ready to move on .


    1. I think is time for you to think about ur self and give the opportunity to have someone who would love you and respect you as person and specially as men… Let her go and life will take care hwr… Have faith and our lord and ur self too.. God bless you

  103. The man I was having a relationship with used to compare me with another sect of women and sometimes used to tell me that they were better than me and that’s why he would rather be associated with them than with me. He also used to tell me that I was flabby and that I needed to work out. He actually used to allow me to believe that he really liked me by asking me whether my parents would agree to him marrying me. I was so stupid and desperate for someone in my life that I let him verbally and emotionally abuse me. He even used to sleep around with other women while being involved with me and had no qualms about it. When I caught him in the act, and asked him if he would have liked it if I were to do the same thing to him, he said no. Wow. That was a partial eye opener. But, the part of this article that suggests that women should ask themselves whether they would recommend a man that they loved who was abusive or manipulative to either their sister or mother is what really opened my eyes. I would never recommend the person I am talking about even to my worst enemy. Thank you Kathy for this article.

  104. I am a toy to my boyfriend. He actually enjoys my emotions, even when I’m sad (he has said this on several occasions). He doesn’t care how sad I get until it becomes an inconvenience, i.e. I stop trying to please him constantly, than he gets annoyed. But when I finally get to the point of being sick of how I feel around him, its like he’s a different person. Suddenly he understand perfectly how I felt all along, and he knows all the right things to say, and he says them all until I’m too tired to resist him anymore. I’m starting to think it’s all fake. When he pretends to feel bad for hurting me, its only when I’m pushed to my very limits. He acts like he empathizes with me only at the bitter end and only if he must, so he must be faking it. But I yet I don’t really know. I just know he is gone and I am sad and alone, AGAIN.

    1. you not alone God love you and is time for you to find ur self ur spirit ur soul and ur heart what is exactly is Love… let it go if hes for u he will comeback to you.. but this time different because now you know exactly was is Love staring with you first ……and pray to my lord and he will give you the courage to keep going… .

      .“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.”

      ― James E. Faust

  105. I don’t knw ver to start ,M wid dis guy fr 2 yrs evn though his not ma first bf bt still i got vry attach wid him, fr a pst few days m fellng cut off by him n vry lonely its like i keep crying oll d time ..i tried to stay away fr him many times i tried to talk or get close wid another guy bt i jst cnt ,i really wnt someone helped coz its driving meh nuts oll i evr wntd was a nic guy who wud love meh no matter wt, its like i hv let ma whole world to revolve around him..dos sm1 hv same situation or m oll alone by maself!!

  106. Hi all,

    I am extremely attached to this girl, who obviously is no longer with me. To add to it she left me and married some one else mainly because she belonged to a different religion and her parents wanted that. Yeah i know this is how it is in some parts of third world countries. But what is difficult now and even before was that she was always firm on the fact that she loved me.

    Even when she got married, starting from the first day she said and was in contact with me saying that he hates it there and she loves me and that she realised how much she loved me after getting married to someone else. I being the stupid or good whatever guy i am supported her through her adjustment phase.
    Then she got pregnant, she said she never wanted that and that she never betrayed me and that even now she loves me a lot. She asked me not to cut off contacts with her, not to abandon her because she needed me. Again I was there.

    But the point is its very difficult for me now and it has been vey difficult for me all through these days. I see her sometimes going out with her husband, it hurts me The sole fact that I am suffering fro anxiety and insomnia while those guys are making out makes me sick. I am somehow trying to cope with all this. She still says she loves me and maybe one day she might come back but she cannot do that now because her family has spent a fortune for that marriage and she was never so strong to take a move by herself.

    Now it has come to a point that instead of me focusing on my life I am lost entire day thinking what they might be doing. How they’ll be having fun. How i am left behind.

    I need and I desperately want to come out of this and be the happy guy I was. I am very upset and I dont know how to help myself.

    Please comfort me through your guidance. I might have been foolish or weak throughout. Maybe i did the right thing.
    Whatever, but I have been extremely upset by all of this.
    I just want my peace of mind and happiness back.

    Thank you.
    Any help or counselling is greatly appreciated.

    1. I am just reading this & I see it was dated October 13th. I hope you’ve found the comfort you were looking for. It’s been a couple of months, hopefully you were able to sever ties & move on. It would be one thing if she broke up with you for religious reasons & went on with her life. But holding you hostage with “love” shows exactly how selfish her kind of love is & I think you know that’s not really love at all.

  107. I need some advice! I’ve been in my relationship with my boyfriend for 5 years. the last 3 years have been very rocky. And also may I add the last 3 1/2 have been long distance. We’ve always worked through things and he’s such a passionate lover. There were many times I’ve walked away and he would stop me and I few times he’s walked away but I e stopped him. The love between us has been so good when things are great but he’ll when things are bad. He doesn’t approve of “new” male friends or the thought of me entertaining a conversation with one. I’ve always been more outgoing & social. I e always respected my relationship because of my love for him. But for the last 2 months it’s been hell on earth. Our communication has been horrible and he recently voiced his disappointment in my lack of support for his career. I’ve been so worried about making ends meet in the other aspect of our relationship that I lacked supporting his career. I apologized and tried to put forth more effort but got upset when he started becoming slightly distant due to the things I’ve said(ex. I wouldn’t work with him; because how could we work together if we can’t meet eye to eye on our relationship!) but he took the ” I wouldn’t work with him” to another level. So this was where we were struggling then not to mention I messed up! I went to go visit him for some time because I need time with my man, I felt that that’s all we needed was time together. Everything was fine until we starting messing around with each others instagrams. I was joking around about a post he was chatting in long paragraphs to some girl(jokingly) and then he went into my Instagram looking and knowing I don’t entertain guys I was fine but…. I forgot I exchanged instagrams with a guy ( not to engage in any type of relationship but just because he asked to follow me) I never gave this guy my number and also told him I had a BF. Where I messed up at is this guy commented on a pic of mine and when my BF asked about him, I said I didn’t know who he was which at the time I didn’t remember but it was later I realized oh snap! I do know who that was. But do you think I wanted to bring that back up to my BF knowing how he gets!? Nope! Its like he’s been focusing more on his self and working even harder on meeting his goals. He said I need to just focus on me as he will do the same and eventually we will discuss but he refuses to talk about it because it’s going to take energy away from him that he can be using on his business. He seems so happy and every time I try to get some clarity because I can’t focus he’s like NO! You’re not going to get the outcome you want if you force me to talk about it! I’m pulling out my hair because he’s distant and I just want to be with him so I’m trying hard to detach my feelings and focus on me. I feel so weak. I love him so much. He’s also linked up with this young lady in the industry doing projects and she is quite stunning. He’s living his life all happy why am I hAvinv such a hard time. Please help someone

    1. P.s basically I got caught in a lie and my insecurity from it has feeling lost with Lot of anxiety, depression and has me obsessing over my BF while he’s doing just fine focusing on his work. It’s like he does t really care about me anymore and I just want to come to the realization regardless of whether the situation was innocent or not I lied to his face and I’m afraid he looks at me differently and may be preparing g to leave me???

  108. Hi. First of all, thank you for posting this article. I am going to be a freshman in college in the next few weeks. During my senior year around March, I got to know a guy who I found nice, caring, smart, and fun to be around. We knew each other as acquaintances since our freshmen year of high school, but we really got to know each other more this year. We both admitted that we liked each other, but made an agreement to stay friends and get to know each other because we both didn’t know if we’d be able to support each considering that we both are going to college trying to figure out purposes in life and also, we both have strict (Asian parents).

    Overall, I found it difficult to communicate with anyone for a very long time until recently, I’ve shared a lot of my burdens with a couple of my friends, such as my anxieties and fears of the present and future, after having a fun day at a music festival with them. I feel a lot better now. I’m just afraid that I’ll go back into depression and not keeping myself motivated in life. I’m also afraid of losing that guy as a friend.

    Now, I want to detach myself from this obsession of when is he going to message me again or talk to me again. I still have a crush on him, but I just want to be friends with him, now trying to treat him as any other friend (including my guy friends) because firstly, I don’t want to be in a relationship right now, since my parents don’t let me date and I need to work on myself first before bringing someone else into my heart romantically, secondly, I want to keep him as a friend because he is in my circle of friends who are either going to the same college as me (I’m commuting) or a community college only 5 mins away and he is a nice person who helped me a lot and is still helping me, such as helping me understand Christianity better because I don’t believe in Buddhism as I’m leaning towards being a Christian, and thirdly, he is going to the same college as I am, so it’s nice to keep in touch. I just don’t want to be obsessed while keeping him as a friend in my life. Anyways, thank you for listening. It makes me feel better knowing that someone is listening.

  109. I need some advice…
    My boyfriend and I have been together only 10 months he has a daughter she was 6 when I came into the picture now she’s 7. She’s so attached to her dad that now I feel like its starting to separate us as a couple. She left to see her mom for two months and those two months for me were amazing but when his daughter came back things changed. He stopped sleeping with me in the same bed he slept with his daughter we stopped being together as a couple . I still want to be with him but. Not like this but I’m not going to tell him to choose between me and his daughter because in reality there’s no competition I will lose him.
    What should I do…

    1. I think you need to let go of something so he can be the dad he wants to be. Did you say he stopped sleeping w you and is sleeping w his daughter, though? If thats what you meant to say, well thats ODD. If thats not what you meant to say, then understand that she comes first. Hopefully as a good parent that he hopefully is, he will keep her first. If he loves you and wants the relationship w you, he will show you that. Some people(males and females) aren’t so good at getting across what they want. If thats a possibility, then ask him. Don’t nag or whine. Just ask. I think that telling it like it is(to a certain point), is so much easyer than making up excuses or beating around the bush. The later can be so traumatizing for everyone. Good luck. Just be honest but don’t be crazy about it. If he gives you the same respect, you’ll know. And if he is wishy washy about it, then listen to your gut and not your heart.

  110. My boyfriend and I have been together 7 years. We met young and stayed together while I was in college. Now graduated and moved in together, I’m definitely rethinking our relationship. Before when we were younger and didnt have grown up responsibilities it was fine. No bills or real jobs, partying all the time, neither of us worried about the future because we never fought and everything was great. But then I feel like I started to grow up and Im leaving him behind. I have stopped partying as he still goes almost every weekend. He has no problem leaving me alone all night even if I ask him to stay he gets mad. He has gotten lazy with making me feel wanted. At the beginning he would take me out and pay for everything, bought me things on holidays, now he complains when he has to spend money and this last year and a half he didnt go anything for me for my birthday, nothing for valentines day and just in general he hasnt taken me out without me saying I want to go out. Another thing I never thought about before was him smoking. Now I hate it and keep thinking in the future he is going to have so many health problems and look older than he should and if we had kids I dont want them around it (no offense to anyone on here who smokes, just a personal preference.) So as some of these things are issues eventually in other relationships and can eventually be fixed with work from both sides, there is ONE BIG issue. He doesnt want to get married. And waited 5 years to tell me. He says eventually we will when we are a little older but Im not willing to wait that long. Yet none of these things are convincing me to leave. I spend more time thinking about leaving and how my life could be without him than anything else but I cant make myself do it. I still love him and think of how can I change to make him want me more or he will eventually grow up and change but the fact is I know Im wasting my time. 7 years of my life. Im 25. If I keep waiting Im gonna end up be married and having kids way later than I wanted. I dont know how to make myself finalize the decision. Another issue on why I dont leave is the fact I dont think I would be able to live on my own financially, I have few friends because I put all my time and energy into my boyfriend (all of whom are married with families so rooming with any of them isnt an option. My relationship with my mom is terrible if we live in the same house. I get in one arguement with her and Im glad to come home to my boyfriend. We dont argue often, but we just dont want the same things. I just feel like I really have put myself so deep into something I cant get out of. I have thought of everything I would plan to do if I could leave like getting my own place, a new better job, take a vacation, maybe even move away eventually. But leaving is the first step and the hardest. I just dont have a good enough solution to leave my situation.

    1. I feel your pain.. .. I was in relationship for 19 years and he lied to me and I didn’t took actions… My best advise for you is leave him… That’s the only way u would know if he live you and to make change for both…. Sounds that u guys are in. Routine and 7 years always are the first you staring thinking what exactly you wanted from your relationship…. If you love him and you love your self more you has to leave him…. Don’t tell him nothing pack you things leave and he will feel what he lost…. If you stay with him you will never know if he love you or he’s just comfortable with you… As women and person you deserve to be his princes to every men you give your time… Is hard but you can do it whit God help.. Good luck to you God bless you

    2. The mistake we all women do is being too available to boyfriends that don’t care that much about us. My advice is love yourself enough to believe you will make it without this guy. To start with, there is no such a thing as not being able to make enough money to support yourself- in this case the solution is to change to a cheaper neighborhood. I don’t know how is it in your country, but in South Africa informal settlements are cheaper in terms of rent. Allow yourself to go deep down to ground level, start again and learn to be completely independent. The guy knows very well that you are fully dependent on him, and guess what he takes you for granted. In the end you will attract the man who will fully love you, I am sure you are a beautiful woman. You are at least beautiful enough to get a better man. At least you owe yourself that much.

  111. Ok so need some guidance. I had a 3 months affair with someone I work with. I still work with him. We still have lunch together sometimes and chat – but just as friends. He called if off for the sake of his relationship with his gf and while I understand this and am happy to be friends, I still want more physically. Everything I say or do in that way gets shut down. I know I need to move on and spend less time with him but can’t seem to make myself do it.

    1. I have been friend-zoned, by this one guy that i’ve know for quite a while now, and we would flirt a lot, so I thought he felt like more than friends but I guess not. “while I understand this and am happy to be friends, I still want more physically. Everything I say or do in that way gets shut down. I know I need to move on and spend less time with him but can’t seem to make myself do it.” you just explained my feelings

      1. It’s so annoying it hurts so much but he has just got a new job and will be leaving soon so I guess that’ll pretty much put a complete end of things, probably for the best really but I’m struggling.

        1. I see u wanted more them just friend flirt… Probably leaving to another new job… Your situation will change and he will feel different and continuing with friendship and finally what really he feel about you… Sometimes things happen for reason… If he’s for you as friend or more them that it will be.. Be positive. And put your energy for what u wanted with your spirit.. God bless you..

  112. My husband and I have been going through some issues, big time. In May, he left me for a few weeks and during that time he slept with someone else…he really honestly and truly seemed sincere about his apology and regret that it happened. Even still, it was hard for me to let go of. It’s been tough, so we still argued over it and I couldn’t hold back my slick comments, my insecure comments. I made this man my life. I have kids but none are to him, my youngest two do call him Daddy. Well we got into a fight on Thursday, I threw his clothes out and he left…again. I haven’t spoken to him since really, a little on Saturday but nothing else since. I don’t know what’s going on with him. I love him, I miss him, and I want him to come home…I don’t know if he will or not, I feel like if it weren’t for that heated argument and me tossing his clothes out, he probably wouldn’t have left but here we are…I lost myself earlier and I cried uncontrollably. I couldn’t get ahold of myself…I just wanted him to come home. I am scared I will lose him for good and he will never come home…he isn’t speaking to me. I don’t know what to do. Reading other people’s stories has been helping me….is there any advice anyone can give me? I just want to get a grip on myself. It’s been hard and I could really use the help. I love my husband…on Saturday when I spoke to him, I didn’t really get the vibe that he really wanted it to be over but I know he is going to use our fight from Thursday as long as he can to stay away. Why would someone who loves you so much just want to be away from you like this? This is the second time it happened…I have a lot of my own issues I need to work out though.

  113. I haven’t been able to read all the posts, but I read enough to see myself in a lot of them. I’m on my second marriage to a man I fell very in love with. The chemistry was undeniable, but through the years with all the fun and great sex, I missed some crucial signs about what a narcicist he was. I was raising 3 children from my first marriage and I was busy, besides being a very independent woman. Years later, when all the kids were old enough and gone, I started noticing things. Selfish, rude, obsessed with himself and his friends, and sports, and toys. His time was for HIM, not US. He came first in everything, I was beneath him. Oh, the words of love are always there but his actions say otherwise. I am 66 he is70. There is so much to this story but for now all I have to say to anyone young enough to start over is this…go and get your life, get your happiness and peace, do NOT settle for a person who does not make you a priority in their life. If a person has to ” think” on their own for awhile but says they still love you, it’s a warning sign. If you love someone and value them, you do NOT let them go. You realize what you have and keep,them close to you. I have had therapy to learn how to detach from him while staying married because of my age. I don’t want a second divorce at this stage of my life. I kept myself really well, good looks and good body, and he is a selfish bastard. He doesn’t value me, only himself. Beware of men who are only interested in what’s good for THEM. It’s a red flag waving really large for you. Heed the warning and don’t waste your life or your precious love.

    1. Thank you so much, Deborah, for your insight and for sharing your wisdom with us. There are many things you said in your comment that absolutely reverberated with me. I wish you emotional strength and love.

    2. My husband is a narcissist also. 17 years with him. Your post says it all.
      I am planning on leaving soon. No one deserves to be unhappy or depressed, same thing ,as I have for years. It’s very scary , I have no clue what to do first but I do know one thing, I can’t be more miserable and I decided to give up. I am detached from him, emotionally, physically haven’t been with him in 6 years. I’m 50 and he’s 67, we have grown apart because he is the master b*&^%rd.

  114. This is really embarrassing, yet I need advice so here goes.

    I am struggling with detaching from my daughter’s recent breakup. Sounds crazy, right? It happened 5+ weeks ago (they were together for 14 months, and she saw him as her future… Everything she has ever wanted, and she has been in both short- and long-term relationships, so she has learned what she really wants in a guy). They are both college sophomores (same college). She was his first long-term relationship, and he treated her as wonderfully as she did him. I’ve never seen her love and respect someone so much. She’d say “I know he’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.” His family and friends love her, and I was thrilled that she found such an awesome guy.

    He has some prior loss issues (deaths of close family members), and my daughter has some abandonment issues as well (first love broke up with her after 2+ years of being together), my ex-husband and I separated -and subsequently divorced – after being together for 28 years, and then she had another breakup from a 2-year relationship when she started her freshman year of college). She didn’t have a good or healthy relationship with her dad (he was emotionally, verbally and spiritually abusive to me and to both of my kids, who are now 23 and 20). I realize that’s a pretty high-level synopsis, but I don’t want to go on & on.

    My daughter is doing really well, working on herself to be the best she can be and to change the things she knows need changing/strengthening in her life. She is still completely in love with her ex, and though she realizes they can’t be together right now, she firmly believes that if they are meant to be, they will find their way back to each other. They have chosen to remain “friends” (she would rather have him in her life on that level, than not have him at all). They’ve talked through things, and shared with each other that they still love and care for one another; he just needs time to figure out some things in his life, and doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now. He’s the yin to her yang… They have seemed to balance each other so well since the day they met. They’ve even been intimate on a couple of occasions since the breakup.

    My dilemma is, I feel like his breaking up with her is affecting me worse than my own breakup of my marriage. I have no love lost for my ex (we’re cordial), and it has taken me almost 5 years to deal with his control over me, as well as the PTSD I’ve experienced from being in such a long-term abusive marriage with a narcissistic control freak. I cry just about every day for my daughter and her ex. I feel distraught that rather than communicate and attempt to work out whatever was going on inside him, he broke things off. I realize how insane this sounds, and I beat myself up for being so emotionally invested in a relationship that isn’t even mine. It feels like the “scab” of everything I and my kids went through during the demise of our family unit, has been ripped off all over again. I don’t understand how her ex could seemingly flip off the light switch to his deep emotional feelings, so quickly. I’m jealous at the thought that he will find someone else, even though that’s not his desire at all, and he has made that clear. He just thinks he needs to be alone right now. I feel like a teenager for having these thoughts and feelings. I guess I was in love with them being in love, and I had never seen my daughter so happy. She would have married him. I’m just heartbroken, and I can’t seem to get a handle on how to del with the loss of them. I’m so afraid he will find someone else, and she’ll have to once again grieve the loss of him all over again… Feeling like she wasn’t “enough” and is easily replaceable.

    This is ridiculous. I feel crazy. I’m emotionally drained from continually crying over this. I’m torn between wishing he will come back to her, and thinking maybe it’s better for her heart to let go of any possibility of that. I know that after the relationship they shared, it is going to take a long time for her heart and mind to let go. He seems to be doing okay (though it’s obvious to all who know him, that he’s really not okay). He’s a compartmentalized thinker, whereas she is a more passionate spirit and more emotionally driven. It just seems so easy for him, and I can’t wrap my head around that. How could he love her as much as he did, yet seem to be okay and moving forward without her? My heart is broken.

    I do realize that I am basically living through my daughter’s relationship. I must be, or I wouldn’t feel like this breakup happened to me. I cared very much for him, and I’m hurting for the loss of them. I have feelings of his abandoning her rather than loving her enough to work through whatever his issue is. I’m angry at myself for giving him too much credit for being so mature, when it’s obvious that he’s not as emotionally strong as I thought. I don’t want to hurt like this anymore.

    Any words of wisdom for a hurting Mom? Thank you so much for whatever you can offer.

    1. Hello, speaking from the daughters point of view. My ex and I broke up for 2 months and I was like a depressed zombie and it took a toll on my mom. She was so sad for me and constantly trying to cheer me up. We got back together and my mom had peace, now we broke up for good and I could tell my mom was getting anxiety over how I would handle it. I’m surprisingly not as heartbroken as the last time. I keep reassuring her it’s ok. I’m sure your daughter can tell how it upsets you, just know to be there for her and she’ll have to mourn the relationship one way or the other.

  115. I have been married for nearly 29 years with 3 grown up children. I found out that my husband was having an affair last December and it was going on since August. This was not the first affair I found out as he had one for 3 years just before I conceived our first child.

    He kept up with the affair until end of April and I am unsure if he has continued with it.

    I have tried my best to forgive him and to make our marriage work by being extremely loving to him. We even have better sex life than before but his behaviour towards me is giving me lots of doubts if he is really trying to let go of his relationship with this other woman and to make ours better. He is constantly on his lap top or hand-phone texting and staying up till 2 to 3am when I am already fast asleep. I hate him for what he has done and is doing to me but at the same time, I don’t seem to be able to leave him.

    This is causing lots of stress to me

  116. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I can’t offer advice on how to detach from someone you care about, but here are a few questions to think about:

    What can you control or change in your life, to help you gain freedom from this unhealthy attachment?

    How are you contributing to your problem?

    What do you believe about yourself?

    Where does your self-worth come from?

    I encourage you to write down your answers to these questions. The key to detaching from the person you love is inside you. I don’t have the answers. You do. The trick is finding those answers that are already in you, and acting on them.

    May you find emotional and spiritual freedom in your life. Can you hear God knocking? The best way to detach from someone you love is to attach to Someone who loves you more than you can imagine.


  117. one of my friend was going thru a very depressed phase.i have done everything in my power to help her.but during that phase of time i started growing feelings for her.i tried to control them,but at the end i thought of discussing with her and she said no,i knew that the answer will be no,but she really wants to be friends with me?what to do?Is it my fault?she has told me no need to worry,but deep inside it is hard for me

    1. If she said no is no… is you think been close to her is affecting you to have more feelings… probably is better to stop been around her. sometime is better to stop things, before we get more attache and get worse…. maybe after you not around she will have the chance to feel that you are more them just a friend…. people don’t know what they have until is going! you deserve to be wanted and loving too… god love you

      1. ya buddy she has some family issues relating cast,so according to her we do not have any future…and she told me that there is a guy in her cast also likes her from past 1 year ,and there is mutual feelings…but she does not wants to get involve with him also as she doesn’t want to get in a relationship..that is the only reason she has considered me as a friend..frankly speaking for the most of time i was also treating her as a good friend ,but it was at her time of depression i got emotionally attached with her

        1. ya buddy she has some family issues relating cast,so according to her we do not have any future…and she told me that there is a guy in her cast also likes her from past 1 year ,and there is mutual feelings…but she does not wants to get involve with him also as she doesn’t want to get in a relationship..that is the only reason she has considered me as a friend..frankly speaking for the most of time i was also treating her as a good friend ,but it was at her time of depression i got emotionally attached with her

  118. Hi I find myself shaking my head that I even googled “how to detach from someone” when that very search should have me questioning my actions. I have had an off and on relationship with someone who is younger than me for 3 years now. When we are together we are great but when it is time to end the current “episode” of our relationship it is horrible. Just when I finally feel like I am ok and not thinking of him and missing him as much he pops back up and draws me back in. Yes I know that it takes two people but I have such deep strong feelings for this person that I ache when I am not around him. So back in April after 3 months of no contact he reaches back out to me and for the 1st time things really seemed different. He seemed different and so did I, we were getting along well. After a few weeks he found out that his roommate was selling his house so he needed to be out soon and his search for a new place started and he was having no luck finding a reasonably priced place. I offered for him to come and stay with me until he finds a place and he accepted my offer. He moved into my spare room so he was more or less a roommate but we continued on with whatever it was that we had going on. Then one day everything changed with how he was acting and I had a gut feeling that he was either seeing someone or at the very least was talking with someone he was interested in and my gut was correct. We got into a very heated discussion with the gist being that he never really had feelings for me and he doesn’t attach to anyone and that I was basically a FWB and that our age difference was a problem…blah blah. I can’t understand for the life in me why he would move in with me knowing my feelings. I don’t think I was his last option for a place to live but it was the easiest thing for him to do. Here is my problem for some reason I want this person in my life and I don’t really know why. I would like to learn to be his friend only but I don’t know if I can do that. I know the best thing is for him to move out and me move on but I can’t detach enough from him to do it! I feel like I am going crazy…HELP!!

  119. I am having the hardest time dealing with my current situation . I fell hard for a guy I met online. We’ve been talking for about 4 months… Calling , face timing & texting all throughout the day. Although I’m aware it’s very quick but we’ve discussed future plans & both of our desires to be together. We spent a weekend together in April ( meeting up 1/2 way as we live a great distance from each other) had a fantastic time.
    All of our interaction& affection was 2- sided… Bc I was so elated things were falling into place with such a great guy! We made plans to meet up in June… I purchased some rather expensive airplane tix to go to visit him.
    Last week he sent me a text that said ” good nite beautiful” & that’s the last I’ve heard from him. I’m heartbroken . He has not replied to any texts or calls. I feel if I at least knew why he chose to walk away I’d be so much more capable of moving on.
    I’m completely obsessed with trying to figure out what happened & if we will ever have a chance. Meanwhile , how can I have such little respect for myself to allow my thoughts to be constantly occupied with someone that hurt me so???
    My prayers for anyone trying to emotionally detach . It’s very difficult … I have good days and then .. Bam! A bad day. I hope I can make healthy choices to eliminate this pain.

  120. This is such a timely article to read.

    The pain of detachment most especially from a relationship of not being in a relationship. With the hookup culture nowadays you experience breakups from your not really boyfriend who you have been seeing for a significant amount of months.

    I have been seeing this guy for 6 months (we are both expats working overseas in ME) and he has shared significant amount of personal information to me. I started developing emotional connection with him but I dont want to jump the gun so I just take each day at a time and enjoy his company.

    We have discussed going on holidays together and it was set that we will speak to each other and finalize it (he was homeward bound for his holidays). I agreed and wait for him to get back to me. However he decided to up and leave his work here without even telling me and deleted me from his contact.

    I was left bewildered and lost and I dont know what just happened. Of course me being deleted from his contact signals that he does not want to speak to me anymore and it hurts. I know I should respect that – in his mind that is the best decision to do (ghosting on me) and its something I cant control.

    I just need to start somewhere to move on. I need to detach but I dont know where to starts. HELP!

    1. I’m sorry Aleya… I can relate to your pain. How hard to lose someone you were attempting to build a future & relationship with … But the “kicker” of not knowing why he chose to end it & not tell you why. I will keep you in my prayers.. It’s my hope we both find a way to deal with our difficult emotional situations xoxo

  121. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    The best way to emotionally detach from someone you care about is to plug in to something healthier and more awesome! A man is NOT the best thing that could ever happen to you, and breaking up isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Men and relationships are fantastic, but not the sole purpose of our lives.

    What is important to you in your life? If nothing but your relationship is important to you, then you’ll have a difficult time detaching from someone you care about. To be emotionally strong and healthy, you need to find different sources of peace, joy, and inspiration in your life. You need to create, to find freedom, and to learn how to express yourself without needing a man.

    The pain of detaching from someone you care about is bearable if you replace it with something spiritual, such as your relationship with God.

  122. I am not sure which stage I am at. I just know I am in a relationship that I am not happy in. I have been with him 7 years. Obviously there is an attachment. I know and feel in my heart it is time to move on. To walk away. I just don’t know how to take that first step. Just the thought of walking away breaks my heart and keeps me in tears because I can’t help but replay everything we have been through…seven years of devoting my life to this person. It’s just so hurtful. Every day I tell myself “today is the day. You can walk away now.” But then I become so afraid of stepping out of that circle that I end up back in it just by the thoughts that go through my head. I am a strong believer in how valuable of a woman I am and what i deserve so why is this so hard for me. I just want to walk away and work on myself. I want to grow as a person and accomplish my goals. I work four jobs and i start at 6am-1am seven days a week..you would think i have no time to hurt nor think…but I do…. what else can i possibly do to keep my mind busier… to build that self respect and dignity and walk away. How do I remind myself how awesome I am and how valuable I am?

    1. Hi Midah,

      I sympathize with you and understand the situation you find yourself in. I once was in a relationship with my university sweetheart and we moved in together after few years of our relationship and we have a wonderful baby boy together. He became scare in the house during weekends and the situation became worse as he became scares even during the week. My child was used to daddy taking him to school and it all changed as we walked to school as I didn’t have a car of my own and was studying full time at the time. One day, i looked at my child sleeping and thought about what kind of life would he live if i continued in the relationship I wasn’t happy at all, then I decided after thinking deep and realized my child would probably an angry child as I was stressed myself. The relationship took from me a chance “to be” career-wise like in your case and my personal goals did not matter at all. I took a leap of faith and took my child to my moms place and I planned my exit. I talked to people from church to ask for a place to stay for a little while I was looking for a job. I ultimately moved out and applied to many jobs and I found one. Within a year I have a house and car of my own PLUS i get a chance to stay with my baby and take care of him while I am mostly happy. I moved away from an eight year relationship as I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t easy but worth it. I must confess I am a strong believer in Christ and believed always that God has better plans for my life.

      My advice to you is please move now before you give up on your dreams and your life completely. keeping busy will never take away your pain, just take the step and move if you haven’t done so already. NOBODY WILL DO IT FOR YOU

    2. I am going through the exact same thing. I Have been with my husband for 17 years, I have to detach and start over while I’m young enough. We have nothing anymore . Both of us stay together because of force of habit, family and friends. I am now depressed isn’t that great….. My plan is to leave , cannot be unhappy and depressed.

    3. To emotionally detach from someone you love, try repeating energy clearing statements such as every where that I am (say your name), I uncreate, delete and transmute it. and try saying what would it take for me to be happy and everything in the way of that I uncreate delete and transmute it. Say these 30 to 40 times a day. Be patient, it takes time eventually it works.

  123. I was with my boyfriend for 19 years… we just promise with ring to be together for eternity. he was separated and with 3 kids.. i found out he lied to me.. he was having sex with “ex wife” and I confronted.. now he is not even talking to me…. I feel horrible I feel betray and I don’t have desire of leaving this pain… i feel my life is over i feel emptiness in side my heart and my soul…. i even scare my self every second of my life… and also wanted just to kill him and do my self too…. only god and prayers is helping me to continuing at this moment…. how can i stop all this thoughts?! I wanted my life back my spirit and my heart for feel the beauty of life.

    1. Hi Kathy!!!
      Right off the bat,if he cheated on you he is the scrum of the earth,First what do you mean you thought of killing him,and then yourself NO NO NO NO OK
      We’re not talking like that,no man in this world is worth you going to jail or he’ll for.Let go of this piece of s**t. Pray Kath prayer changes things,trust me I know. I am going through something similar to your situation,the things is l plan to get over and move on with my life.l suggest you do the same.Good luck Kathy,and God bless you!!!!!!!

  124. “Over-involvement can lead to feelings of anxiety, agitation, helplessness, depression, anger, and even resentment.”

    Hi, It’s Lisa here from South Africa… I need to vent and any advice. I met up with my first love a few months after my husband of 10 years had his final affair and I kicked him out. It was amazing because he (my first love) had just come out of a bad relationship himself…a match made in heaven? not quite…It was a deeply emotional interaction, though strangely enough because of my Christianity and his confusion about his feelings – it started as an intense physical but awkward thing and then developed into an intensely emotional platonic “friendship” thing with underlying feelings of more…Life as a single mom became too hectic and coupled by my own insecurity about his feelings I moved back in with my parents 3 hours away…but inevitably we kept finding our way back to each other and this thing like friendship but more intense grew between us on and off in cycles for the past four years, yet we never see each other – it is all conducted daily on whattsapp or a few calls. We laugh a lot, talk a lot, share a lot and connect on a very deep level but I have always felt a block when I thought of moving nearer to him. In fact I have often had those exact symptoms, you listed above as being over-involved on an emotional level. He suffers with depression and I have a tendency to absorb the emotions of others. I am codependant by nature so when he recently announced he is moving overseas’s I flipped. He refused to tell me the details and just withdrew. I had all the normal emotional reactions one might expect and then I remembered his depression and realised that a depressed person often thinks everything will be perfect somewhere else…I told him this and then said it was something he should consider but then I realised that I am so in tune with him that I picked this up, I know his moods, the tones in his messages and him and yet WE ARE NOT EVEN DATING OR IN A FORMAL RELATIONSHIP!!!! Once again I have been playing the part in making someone else happy, encouraging, sharing of myself and giving and getting very little in return. I went from one codependant relationship straight into the next without even realising it…and I am just as miserable! He is an amazing creative, kind hearted, gentle man but he is emotionally unstable and I am going up and down with him. I am not sure how to deal with this. I love him but I am not sure I want to be with him the way he is , I feel sorry for him but I know I cant fix him. I have invested too much of myself in him and now I need to emotionally detach from him without making him feel abandoned! Huh, he didn;t think of me to that degree. I have a terribly soft heart and I am always trying to rescue, assist and help others, to my own detriment. Yes…time to emotionally detach…again (sigh). When will I EVER get this right?!!!? Right now we are obviously not talking but should I cut him off completely or slowly or simply limit the contact. Everything feels different now that I am aware. kind of awkward. As a friend I feel I should support him with his depression but as a person who gets emotionally overinvolved I realise that supporting him is hurting me. This is so hard. I will pray about it. Please pray for me too. God bless – Thank you for listening to my rambling thoughts 🙂

  125. Hi! I was in a relationship. I love him alot & as usual plan many things for future. He told me truth about his past affairs & m happy with that. But slowly i realizes that he telling me lie and meeting my best friend. I asked him directly about that initially he take it as joke . but when i asked seriously then he broke up with me. Now he talked me as a friend. I am trying to be frienf but my feelings are not changing and infact whenever i come to know that he is going out with my best frnd or talking to her i feel very bad. He told me that i did wrong to him by doubting him but they both lied to me is it correct. I m trying but i didn’t understand what to do. M tryingy best to detach myself from him but sometumes i am unable to do it plz suggest something.
    Thank you.

  126. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Diogo,

    I hope you find a way to give your girlfriend the time and space she needs to deal with her family issues. If you and she are meant to be together, she will find her way back to you. But if you push her to have a relationship with you, you will only drive her family further away.

    Sometimes detaching from someone you care about involves being strong enough to do what’s best for her. Right now, she has decided that distance is best…and I hope you can respect and honor her wishes, no matter how difficult it is for you. Trust and have faith that whatever is meant to be WILL happen, regardless of her family or anyone else!


    1. I’ve just recently practiced the art of detachment. My wife and soon to be ex, in my personal belief, has moved on. Although we are not legally separated. I know and I can see that I’ve been replaced. It hurt very bad for almost one month. I can even see in her movement and behavior that she is physically involved with him and I’ve never seen him. Well on Monday 6th of March, I cried in my car before therapy. It’s been at least 2 weeks since I had a real cry like that. I asked myself what is my therapist going to say that I haven’t heard before. Well I went in and said the same crap. “She’s doing this and that and scares me and she’s ruining her life and my sons life and I want to help her”. To which my therapist replied, “why do feel the need to care about her”, Bam! I felt the greatest relief. I already know she won’t change. She responsible for her actions. You know in your gut that she is sleeping with another guy. So why do I care? Truth is I dont. I just wanted what I thought I had but what I really had I’m looking at right now. It’s almost so disgusting that the feeling cancels itself out with relief. I can only say I did love her with all my heart but not anymore. I didn’t deserve this even my son. But Im the strong one and I need to love myself again and be there for my son. I do see her when I see him anymore. I see a boy who will get a better life. I had a talk with my father in law about this. He says that since she has been living with her family that they noticed her bad behavior and weird decision making. He says they have even gotten after her. It’s so weird because she sold them the best story when she moved out of my house saying that I was a terrible father and husband. It was the worst time of my life. Now the tables have turned. I doesn’t feel good but at least my in laws see what I’ve been saying all along. She is their problem now.

  127. Hello! I’ve been in a very special relationship with an amazing girl, however she has serious family issues that didn’t allow the relationship to keep going, so she decided that the best for us was to be apart for now, for her to solve her issues and then do a brand new start… However it might take time and she told me she didnt want me to wait for her…

    Well I can’t… i just can’t detach… because there’s still that hope that things will be allright again… I Still talk to her everyday which makes it worse, but if i don’t talk to her i freak out… I can’t be still… If i stay still at any point i lose my mind… i have to exercise all the time cause that’s the only part of the day i can free myself from this hell… In one hand i wish i could just leave so i could heal with time… but on the other hand i love her way too much and i know she needs my support, eventhough sometimes she doesnt really recognize it.

    I Don’t really know what to do

  128. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    It takes strength and courage to detach from someone you care about. No matter how unhealthy the relationship is, it’s always hard to walk away! Detaching involves letting go of the hopes and dreams you had for your future, and the idea of spending your life with that person. It’s a huge loss, and you’ll go through a difficult grieving process. But, if you let yourself grieve, you will come out the other side. You WILL find ways to be happy again, and you will find that detaching is difficult, but staying attached to someone who doesn’t care about you is much worse.

    So, my prayer is for you to find the courage and strength you need to detach from the person you love. May you reconnect with your self, and your source of spiritual strength and peace. May you connect with God, and not lose heart. May your hope and faith in the future override whatever pain you feel right now, as you detach from your relationship and overcome the feeling of lots love. Amen.


  129. I have been married for 22 years. My husband is a passive agressive control freak. I have come to the point where I am issolated have no skills to support my self have very little friends and have to take his constant minipulation, Threats, and degration if I disagree with any thing he may want. I just asked him if he would study our Sabbath lesson and the first words out of his mouth were. ” I need my alone time” ? I don’t want any thing from him any more I just want to start stashing money to support my self and get out of here. Unless you can teach me how to not let him control me or to over come this behaviour.

    1. Wow, I feel your pain, I have only been in my relationship for less than six months, but it was fast, hard and deep. He initially came across as, strong and confident, which was attractive, but as time passed, I began to see a really, really scared boy in a man’s body. This happened when we had obstacles to face, as long as there were no threats, especially financially he was strong. The phone bill is due and there is not enough money to pay it, our phone service has been suspended. He went to the house where he lives, I guess he couldn’t handle it when I told him it was not in my budget to pay the reconnect fees. Now I’m sitting here alone. Wow! I am considering not letting him back in, but I miss him now that he is not here. I am sorry I allowed myself to get emotionally attached.

  130. I just don’t know what to do anymore with my marriage. I’ve been married now for almost 18 years and have 3 daughters with my husband. I feel stuck and have become very isolated. I have tolerated my husbands countless affairs and alcoholism for the
    entire 18 years. I have tried to
    justify his behaviour and tried being the strong wife and say I
    wasn’t going to let his alcoholism
    and the behaviour that follow it
    destroy my family, but I simply don’t know how much more I can take. Obviously I have a very forgiving personality, I guess, I don’t know what’s wrong with me and why I continue to allow this behaviour. He’s very manipulative, and when I’ve threatened to leave before he’s made things very difficult and made suicide threats. I worry about my girls! Knowing that I could have done something to prevent that from happening and I didnt would devastate me for
    them. Right now though my girls don’t like their dad at all and have asked my why I don’t divorce him. They don’t want anything to do with him. My girls are now 17, 15 and 13. I don’t know why I can’t let go; I’m miserable, my girls are miserable. I feel like I’m just afraid of the emotional hell I will
    go through, but I don’t understand that because it’s got to be better than this. I think about him moving on which he will in a matter of days and that feeling of not being important or him wanting me just hurts. What is wrong with me?!?!? What is this? I’m tired of feeling like I need meds for depression and anxiety to get threw my life. I know that only treats the system and does nothing to fix the problem, but I’m the problem and how do I fix me?!?! I’m a good person, I’m kind and thoughtful, but this is something that I just can’t figure out. I’ve been to several couselors and yet still here I am.

    1. The fact that you have been to counselors and are still there made me say ‘Wow’ out loud. I am sure they have given you guidance, tools, advice and nothing short of a step by step process of how to do it. Fear is keeping you there and unfortunately that is not a very good way to live, for yourself or for your daughters.
      I unfortunately witnessed this very thing with a co-worker who has been married for 21 years. She left, only to recently go back. Even against the advice of her husbands counselor. It is hard to speak to because of your children. But ask yourself, what would you tell each of your daughters if they were in the very situation you are in. Why are you not doing the same for yourself. If anything, you are teaching them that it is okay, and it is not. I would suggest you create a plan, and do it one step at a time. You also need a network of support whether it be family, friends, counselors, and or support groups. Bottom line the only ones who are hurting here is you and your girls. Your husband continues his cycle of behavior because you allow it. You allow it by staying. So with that, why would he change, and thus the cycle continues. Your threats to leave are just that, because your words are not matching your actions. His threats of suicide are just that as well, and of course manipulation on his part, and yet you are still there. Which is also him controlling you. You are in a horrible situation and I encourage you to seek the advice, steps and help from your counselors of leaving.

  131. Thank you for having the courage to share your story here, for your words will help others see they’re not alone. My prayer for everyone who is struggling to detach from someone they love is for healing. I pray you find strength to stay focused on your future, faith that you will be happy again, and hope that you will become healthier than you ever were before. May you move forward in confidence and security, and may your trust in God be renewed.


    1. What a beautiful prayer! I believe all those to be true. One thing we need to remind ourselves while we are in are struggle is that it is temporary. Having faith and seeing that vision for yourself of healing, happiness and getting through it to become a better, stronger version of you also helps the steps in the journey, though painful, at times very necessary. I am speaking from experience, and was one of the individuals who originally posted here about 8 months ago. Keep moving forward, getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, and I promise you will get through what you are currently struggling with.

      I would like to share a quote that I have taped to the front of my computer monitor at work as a daily reminder that we all deserve better for ourselves and we know in our hearts that we should not settled, because we are good enough and deserve better for ourselves. The quote is:
      “If you’re brave enough to say ‘good-bye’, life (God) will reward you with a new ‘hello’ ” – Paulo Coehlo

      Be well,

  132. Really having an issue and don’t know what to do. The main trouble is I know I am doing this to myself. I am 51 and met someone on the internet a bit over 3 months ago. Since then we talk every single day and since he lives 300 miles away we have seen each other three times each for a few days. When we started talking we both were looking for a possible relationship. Now he says that will never happen..but he tells me he loves me and tells people I’m Hus best friend. I grew up lonely so it is nice to have a best friend. Trouble is I don’t understand why he doesn’t want more. Instead of being happy I’m sad all the time. I am in total obsession mode because I can’t have him. I don’t want to lose a friend but I am really depressed because the fantasy of finally finding love is not true. Any comments appreciated.

    1. Hey Daniel,

      Everything in this world is temporary. Believe in yourself. Why do you want other person to make you happy?

      You are living in material works and taking pleasure for your own sense gratification?

  133. I am 44 year old female. I have a situation that I have no idea what to do. Before my father passed away 23 years ago when I was 20 things were better. When I was 15 my mother started hitting me with brooms and calling the police on me and throwing my clothing out of the upstairs windows. The officer in a small town stopped me and said that my mother didn’t want me to come home. wow. ok. I had a place to go thanks to my fathers company about 15 miles out in no where was a cabin. I was just starting the 11th year of high school. So after much more chaos my father and I spoke and I brought to his attention such as he that I would move alone to Dallas about 5 hours away and get a place to live and finish high school a year earlier and in the top 25% of my class. years later now I am 44 my mother doesn’t know that I have proof that she has called the cops so that when I left her house that 5 cops would be chasing me for no reason. I have proof with a constable and others that she is trying to destroy me and my living. what to do I want to put some legal document served to her so that she can’t keep on with trying to abuse me and I am only 44 and can’t live like this. help

  134. ( Not sure I’m posting this in the correct spot ? ) I am struggling to remove myself from the pain and suffering of being the party who is “detached from”. My oldest daughter has passed judgement on me that I am “negative” and that when she is around me she also becomes negative. Funny thing is that we were very close until almost 5 years ago when she suddenly became rude to me at every opportunity, wouldn’t look me in the eye and anything I said she contradicted. We live about 500 miles apart, so no opportunity to be around each other that much actually. She married the year before this detachment on her part, and there had been a couple of incidents with her fiance at the time. He turned mean and abusive towards me out of the blue one evening at their home when he served dinner when I committed the sin of …get this….putting butter on my plate for my corn on the cob. I thought he was joking although his face looked furious when he grabbed the corn out of my hand and rolled it in the entire pound of butter saying ” THAT’s how you butter corn !!! ” He then went on after we sat stunned at the table …to say…he was excited about being related to my husband and son but he could certainly do without me. My husband and son are not assertive at all and chose to not react. My daughter was very upset and crying and threw her cutlery and stomped off. She and I went for a drive soon after and I told her that I would have to stick up for myself if he ever did/said anything like that again. She said he was also rude to his own mother. Well what can I say…she married the guy. And we ( her Dad and I ) did contribute significantly ($) to the wedding. I wasn’t asked to go dress shopping….which was hurtful but she did take our other daughter. There was another incident with her fiancé before the wedding where he was angry that we didn’t “appreciate” that his sister booked tickets for flights for all of us. Our immediate family had always planned on flying from an airport closer to us and I have a friend who was going to look after booking our flights. Anyway he called me in the middle of an afternoon and began degrading me for not paying his sister fast enough ( we were trying to decide what to do about it since we had our own points we had planned on using on our own credit cards and wanting to fly from a closer airport ) We ended up just sending his sister a cheque so as not to rock the boat. He told me that the wedding was my daughters and I should not interfere……trust me I did NOT interfere….she is an organizer and although I offered my help in any way she assured me that she was happy to plan herself and I let her do so. She married him anyway. She called in May of 2010 to say they couldn’t come to our home for xmas that year b/c she was expecting. We were thrilled to be getting or first grandchild. I was instructed not to make or buy anything. ( ? ) She visited in the summer one weekend when she was several months pregnant and was rude to me every chance she got….I broke a rule and bought a lovely green and white hand made baby blanket. ” she looked emotionless at it and said ” it doesn’t go with the colour I’m doing in the room “…..at the market we visited a lady asked her when she was due and the date she gave was a couple of weeks different than we had been told so I said ” oh I thought” to which she snapped ” it’s been such and such date for a long time” the lady looked at me with astonishment that she would speak to me that way. I bit my tongue…again. Eye contact wasn’t made all weekend. Finally I offered the family heirloom shawl that her great grandmother made and all our family came home from the hospital in. She says ” Mother in laws name made one….she’d be pretty insulted if they used a different one” in my mind I’m seething ? the MIL has 5 other grandchildren…this is our first. I could bite my tongue no longer and said . “Well God forbid MIL be disappointed !!!” No problem if I’m excluded from anything to do with my grandchild….what happened to “dont’ buy , don’t make?” that just applies to me ? Why is that? So she flew off the handle as did I…….a couple of weeks later we buried the hatchet temporarily so that they could assist in organizing moving my elderly parents from the Island to the city on the mainland where they also live ( her hubby told my husband and I that she and he had talked about it and that they thought we should move them to our city as we’d be visiting to see baby etc ) Once my folks were moved….with mostly just my hubby and I doing the bulk of it……there was still LOTS to do, find Dr’s, transportation, powers of attorney, find where to get prescriptions, change addresses, get insurances and tons and tons of stuff that had to be done via trips there and from city where we live. A week or so after the move….but still not done….I received an “ultimatum” email. That because of all my faults she was not willing to continue on with me and my negativity ( believe me I was hardly saying anything since the weekend from hell….and I wanted to see my grandchild ). She wanted to meet in a city in between where we both live EVERY week ( 3 hours away from both of us ) ( and we all work ) to have counselling to see what they could do about me. I phoned her insulted she would do something like this via email !! I said that it was impossible for me to do this at that time….I was practically bedridden after the moving of my folks and the stress of it all. ( I have not mentioned so far that I suffer from me/cfs Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was in essentially in a crash from all the emotion and stress from the past month including her blow up at me ). Well then she said she’d have to detach more than she already had and for the most part that’s what’s happened. I was beside myself not hearing anything about the pregnancy and assuming I’d have to read about it on Facebook when she had the baby. When she went into labour she had her SIL call my husband to ask if we’d come down. Which we did. We do go down to visit my parents every 3 / 4 months and visit them to see our grandson but in between we don’t get any news of what he’s up to or they are up to etc. She’s “cordial” when we visit but after we leave she does not respond to any messages or emails/texts from me. She made a purchase from my husbands employer recently so she has had contact with him ( which she wants….but he with held for quite awhile as he doesn’t “get” why she treats me like she does….basically she doesn’t believe in the illness I have either ). I found out that today she is going to register grandson for kindergarten and it is another great hurt that we have missed bonding with him as much as could have been possible if she would allow facetime or phone calls with him. It’s all punishment for ??? I realize that I can’t ( or even dont want ) to have to be around someone that treats me like that…..but I deeply love my Grandson and he loves me too. If I cut off all relations with her or stir up ……I will be cut off from him also and we will both be punished. The daughter happens to be a counsellor….so probably everything needs to be solved by counselling in her opinion…..to see how to “fix me”. I’m sorry I’ve gone on so long….I hope that this type of detachment is included in the subject. I am in a lot of pain…and although I try to detach from it , sometimes it becomes unbearable. My other daughter says we need to talk in order to try to change these circumstances but the detached one won’t pick up when I call so guess she’s totally gone. Not sure how she can write off her own mother whom she’s been close to all her life….she actually used to boast about that ? I am also unhappy that some of my other family has not stepped in ( they all say they don’t get why she treats me as she does ) and they continue to visit her ( which she wants as she’s surrounded by a ton of “his” family who all moved to the city they live in. Oh and they NEVER visit my folks who they apparently decided should move there. My Mum has been in hospital for over a month and I did message and ask her to please go visit. She didn’t reply and I highly doubt that she did. So my folks are probably being punished to cause me even more pain. Thank you for letting me vent.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. It almost seems like your daughters husband may not like women. This could be why your daughter is so distant..all her engery is going to make someone else happy. Therapy might help but someone has to be willing to be open. Sounds like a hurtful situation.

    2. Carol you sound distraught and I’m sorry for your hurt. Mother daughter relationships are always fraught. I know that I don’t always treat my mother very well, although I do love her very much. I think that it’s possible to be too close and emotionally invasive (I’m not saying you are, this has just been my personal experience) and this somehow prevents the daughter growing, so eventually they will pull away. I also think that it is possible to come over as more negative than we might actually feel – and it’s also possible that we may all sometimes feel the need to blame someone – in this case your daughter is blaming you. I would say, at a guess, your daughter’s husband is insecure and full of anger. He may have resented or had an issue with her emotional closeness to you. He sounds quite controlling. Perhaps you were controlling too, in another way (I know my mother is) and so your daughter is now looking to him as her primary emotional attachment figure. It’s so hard and difficult to understand and I feel that you will have to strive really hard to rise above it all, and not let it impact on your health. Hope that things work out better for you very soon. X

  135. Hello. I have been in a relationship with a man for 5 years now, we have 2 kids together and i have 1 child with another man. For 3 out of the 5 years its been nothing but hell. He has cheated and so have. The teust issues cane from his first encounter with infidelity. I started noticing his lies and deceit more clearly, to the point where all i think comes out of his mouth are lies! I will admit, i started chatting with other men, it sorta eased some of the pain and made me feel better about myself. This man can not sit still hes always in and out of the house especially during late hours. One time he said he was at a friends but packed a night bag for the club. He does everthing to hide the evidence at thatbpresent time but doesnt do a very good job at hiding it afterwards. Almost if he doesnt really care if i find out the truth. This man slept with my best friend in my house and they both still smiled in my face until i finally found out about their betrayal. I discovered he was using cocaine abd meth. I got a restraining order against him so he would leave my home. We separated for a while and it seemed li very easy. After a while of missing each other and it seem like he wasnt using anymore. We came together again hooing to work things out. Things just got worse! He couldnt except my male friend i had become really close to, not interested in him at all. New years he left for 5 days in my car. Didnt care how i was going to get to work, didnt care about what the kids needed. This time i felt like i did something wrong because lately hes been placing a lot of the blame on me. I felt so sorry and helpless without him. Funny thing is i dont even know why. Financially i take care of the kids and the responsibilities as an adult. He wont even get a job. And when he does he only keeps it fir a few weeks and then gets fired. I told myself that i was the problem and so i started cutting all of my friends that were male off. I stopped texting and responding to face book posts. I thought that this would change things, but tonight he has proved me wrong. He still accuses me of talking to men and lying and cheating. When i read your article this part stood out.

    5 Ways to Detach From Someone You Care About

    Emotional over-involvement happens when thoughts become focused on the other person in ways that are unhealthy for both the individual and the relationship. Over-involvement can lead to feelings of anxiety, agitation, helplessness, depression, anger, and even resentment. “Disentangling” or detachment’ is about creating enough emotional space between yourself and another person so you can see the realities of your relationship and make healthier choices.

    This is how i feel. I seriously thought my body was changing because if age. But i realized all of those things i am going through is because im in live with a man who is in love with hurting me. Because ive been dealing with it he knows he doesnt have to change a thing. Some times ill get home from work and he will just make me feel so bad that im tired from it. Because he doesnt work he doesn’t understand what it feels like to be tired. I recently went to my doctor and asked for anxiety pills because i cannot collect my thoughts with him in my life. I have never felt so weak or broken in my life. I need help detaching myself from him, i think im addidcted to gow things have always been and and resenting what my future has in store for me.

    1. Gina, I feel compelled to tell you, YOU ARE AWESOME. Any human that can endure all that you have & still have hope is a very flexible being. Dont beat yourself up or get on meds just to accept his poor behavior. You have children & a job. Do you know what that means? You are blessed. There are women who dont have either. Do you pray or believe in God? If so, start asking for help to remove anything from your life that brings you pain. Remember, it only takes seconds to change your mind…1…2..3… Start talking to yourself & building up your confidence & self-worth. You are the only one who can. I send a BIG HUG your way. Love, Nicole

  136. Hi,

    My girfriend had a second phone and she was busy chatting with other people and I realised that she is cheating on me when I turned up at her house without informing she had blocked me on the whats app of the other no she had I am still trying to get away from her but she insist she is innocent and I keep going back to her I want to come out of it please help. My heart pains thinking about her and she know I am madly in love with her she is not being true to me please help.


    1. Harmeet, You seem to be a great guy with so much to offer in matters of Love. There are so many women in relationships who desires a man to simply notice them & care. Its time that you pat yourself on the back & know what you have to offer a relationship & be secure in that. This may take time to develop, especially when you have someone sending you mixed signals & playiong with your heart. “This too shall pass” can be a great chant when you’re feeling confused. If you need proof of cheating, keep in mind that what’s in the darkness shall come to light. Be brave & stand up. Start to enjoy life as best as you can. She can only hurt you as much as you allow.

  137. Dear Blue,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how difficult it is to emotionally detach from someone you care about. It sounds like you are grieving the end of your relationship and the loss of your ex-boyfriend, which is a totally normal thing to do after a breakup!

    I don’t know how long ago he broke up with you, but it’s important to give yourself time to heal. It sounds like you were surprised about the breakup – you didn’t expect it to happen. That makes it more difficult to recover from, because you weren’t prepared to say good-bye.

    One way to heal is to trust that this relationship isn’t for you. You may think it was a good relationship, but clearly your boyfriend wasn’t fully happy. So…it wasn’t all good. My prayer for you is that you have faith that this relationship wasn’t meant to be, and that you are able to learn why it didn’t work out. This knowledge is important, as it will help you love better in your next relationship! I pray you are able to accept this breakup, that you grieve the end of this relationship, and that you can detach from your boyfriend in a healthy way. May you move on into a healthy, happy new chapter of your life – and may you trust that your life is unfolding just as it should.

    I also encourage you to talk to a counselor about how to emotionally detach from someone you care about. Sometimes we process things better when we talk them through with objective people.


  138. Hi Laurie,

    I have read your article because I’m trying to detach emotionally from my ex-boyfriend who was also my best friend. I am someone who never gets attached to anyone; I only had attachment with 2 people, and one of them was him. He was perfect for me, he did everything right, respected my choices, and was a great support. He was more in it than I was, because I wasn’t ready for a relationship. But I was getting there, and then he decided to break up. We never had any problems, never fought or anything, he just decided to break up. Now, I was ok because I trust his decision, but it was still a shock. One night we went to bed all happy, and the next morning, he’s gone. I may have forgiven him for leaving that way, because like you and many others said, we have to think something good is going to happen. But, I can’t detach from him, we talk once in a while, but I keep checking my phone all the time to see if he’s sent any message. I just can’t seem to forget what we had and what he meant. You’re article doesn’t talk about how to leave something good. I have been in an abusive relationship, thought he loved me, leaving was not easy but I know deep down it was the right thing to do. But what about this one?

  139. Dear Kim,

    Thank you for being here. I’m sorry to say that there are no easy answers on how to detach from someone you care about. I can write all the tips in the world, but the truth is that everyone is different and what will help you move forward may not be something in my toolkit.

    Two things have always helped me: knowing that time dulls the pain (but doesn’t heal all wounds), and trusting God that things were meant to unfold this way for a reason. When I stay focused on my spiritual beliefs and values, I can never be defeated emotionally or spiritually! I feel such s strong sense of peace, security, and confidence.

    Have you ever felt emotionally or spiritually secure? My advice is to seek that anchor – a spiritual rope to your Creator and God – rather than focus on trying to detach and overcome the lost love of your ex.


  140. Hello….I’m currently going through a divorce and having trouble navigating through detaching. My spouse and I were having problems for a long time. I couldn’t understand why everything seem to be spiraling downward until much later. I’m not one who welcomes control from another person. I can compromise but having someone control everything is draining. When I met my spouse I allowed her to control so many aspects of us and me. The element of control led me to a dark place to where we were working against each other instead of with one another. There were also issues with her children early on. After “constantly” being reminded that her children came before me I started to feel like I wasn’t important to her or them. I didn’t feel the jealously in the beginning because I was trying to fit in and become friends with them but when they started disrespecting me and she allowing it that cause a rift and I was constantly reminded where my place was. We went to counseling and I tried to get my spouse to understand why I was feeling this way but to no avail she either didn’t care or just couldn’t understand. As time went on my wife told me that she wanted to save the marriage and that the only way she knew how was for us to separate. Her suggestion was to separate, date each other and get to know each other all over again, then come together and figure out how to put us back together. I didn’t agree because I felt that once we were out of one anothers site there would be no incentive to work on anything. She told me the separation would happen no matter what, I didn’t have a choice. She gave me her word that she really wanted to work the marriage out. As soon as we separated she starting seeking out her next partner behind my back while we were married. On my deceased daughters birthday she told me she wanted a divorce while driving to the new girlfriends house. I was devastated, broken. Soon after she posted a picture of her and the woman on facebook in front of family and friends and announced that we weren’t getting back together. I was humiliated further, crushed, hit rock bottom. She then asked this person to marry her, posted a pic of the ring and then moved the person in with her while we are still married. Now her and the new partner are living together, we are still married but divorcing, I just received papers yesterday. All I wanted was to work my marriage out, rebuild on a stronger foundation. Instead I’m alone in a place where I have no family, struggling financially and emotionally, I’ve healed some but still have a long way to go, while her and the new person are making wedding plans and living in happiness. I’ve been alone since this started allowing myself to go through, processing my part in what happened in the relationship, feeling so much pain that I was sick to my stomach. She on the other hand immediately started seeing someone, didn’t take time to process what happened with us or acknowledge that she had a part in the situation, blaming me saying I destroyed it all. How is this fair, how can this be? How can she be allowed to be happy and move on with another person while I suffer. How do I detach where I don’t feel don’t care. Everyday she enters my mind, she still lives in my soul and I don’t know how to stop the thoughts of her and missing and loving her still. How can I detach?

    1. Kim,

      As I read your comment and your current situation I could not help but to relive some of my own pain and feeling as if getting through minutes, let alone hours and days seemed to be daunting and unbearable not to long ago for me as well. Though our stories are much different, we share the pain that we both endured. I lived through it, and unfortunately you are currently still living it. This very site, and the book that is listed on this page is how I was literally able to stop the intruding thoughts of my partner that seemed to violate and invade on an ongoing, minute by minute which at times felt like 24/7 during the countless days and weeks of sleepless nights. I came to the internet as you did looking for answers, direction and hope to help me get through the pain and struggle that seemed to endless. With the help of a counselor but mostly with the book “The journey from abondonment to healing” is exactly what got me through my pain and days. I currently work with my ex and she walks past my desk on what seems to be the hour on the hour and this book has helped me to practically not see her the way that I use to and has helped me leaps and bounds. Mostly I recommend that you do not drown yourself in anything deliberate, meaning music that reminds you of her. I was doing that and could not understand why the thoughts came of her, stop listening to music that reminds you or her. Stop going to FaceBook. I had to do that as well, delete her as a friend and even block her from seeing your page. My point is even though you want to let go of the pain, stop self inducing it and inflicting it yourself by adding reminders of her into your life. I can also tell you that she is not as ‘happy’ as you think she is. And as you eventually came to see, or maybe you saw all along how controlling she was, her new partner will see it too. People like that are not fooling anyone but themselves. And know that others will reap what is sown. I know it is difficult for you to see know, but you should feel free, even though the love is still there, you are outside of the realm of allowing someone to control you. Nevermind not making you a priority or having an equal partnership or support when it came to the lack of disrespect from her children. You settled for way too long, and probably did so as a self sacrifice but at the same time it cost you your own dignity and respect. You deserve better, plain and simple. I know each day is a struggle, but you only need to focus on sometimes getting through the minutes, then your minutes will turn into hours and your hours will turn into days and days weeks, and so on. You will have moments that your long for her and want to go back, do not do that. I highly recommend the book. You can find it on Amazon for less than $7 which also includes the shipping. Also, staying busy is also key. I know you have days where getting out of bed seems impossible, but you must put one foot infront of the other. Know that where you are right now, even at this very moment of reading this message, is that it is temporary. This is not your end all be all, here and now. You are unfortunately going through possibly one of the most difficult things you have ever faced, but it will not defeat you or define you, but make you stronger. I pray that you give yourself the freedom to grieve, and do not hold it in. Talk to your friends and family and make them aware, so they too can assist you in this healing process. They too will be vital in your recovery and they will also help hold you accountable for your thought process and hopefully help to encourage, lift up and support as you pick yourself up, dust off and begin to move forward. You are a strong person and deserve better, know that and believe that, and envision that for yourself. Do not focus your time and energy on someone who has treated you poorly, disrespectfully, and callously. You get one chance at life, you determine your happiness, not someone else. Keep your mind focused on positive thoughts and allow yourself to go through the healing and detachment process. The book I found to be fascinating to say the least and helped me every page and chapter to my recovery. Best of luck to you and remember, where you are right now is temporary, and you will be in a different place in a week, months and next year. Just focus on getting through each day, even if at times it is minute by minute, and some days will be harder than others, but I promise you, you are stronger than what you are going through, and you will get through this.


  141. Dear Vonetta,

    You’re right that the guy you’re cheating with would cheat on you if you were his girlfriend. He’s lying to you about not being happy at home — the truth is that he has his cake and is eating it too! He has you on the side, and his nice girlfriend at home. As far as he’s concerned, this is the best of both worlds. Why would he have any reason to change?

    Yes, it will hurt to stay with him. But the pain of leaving someone you care about is short-term. Your broken heart will heal — but the longer you put off the breakup, the longer it’ll take to move on with your life.

    You deserve better – you deserve a REAL relationship with a guy who loves you. This guy you’re cheating with is using you, and you’re letting him. My prayer for you is that you find the strength, dignity, and self-love you need to leave him. I pray you find the strength to detach and overcome the pain of losing him, and that you meet a man who will treat you with love, respect, and kindness.


  142. I’ve been married for 17 years and we have been having problems for a couple years now. I have been dating a married man for 10 months and have fallen in love with him.. so here is problem: our relationship is based on sex and Control, I’m very submissive to him and he has taught me many things and gained my trust.. for me, I am emotionally attached and the thoughts of him Control my everyday!! After spending the evening with him this past Sunday, he texted me on Tues and said that he doesn’t want to see me.anymore, he is done playing. . I was shocked, confused, lost and it really threw me for a loop. . I explained to him my feelings and he said that he has no feelings no emotions, it’s just how he is wired… I told him that I could not believe that he never had feelings or card about anything and his response was “nope , not a single bit”.. so of course I am destroyed at this point. He physically controlled me in the bedroom, I have been chocked, tied, slapped, cuddled, caressed, spoiled and now that’s all gone. Don’t get me wrong, these things were done because it was a complete turn on, but how do I step back away from these emotions.. how do I get him out of my daily thoughts.. How do I let go??!! His last words to.me.were “I could own you, but I don’t want to”.. many will judge me for allowing this or think this type of sex is disgusting.. i get that, but please realize that I just need answers or help moving past this so that I can get on with my life. ..

    1. Wow. Well, I can tell you that I did order the book that is mentioned in this blog to help me with my own relationship ending. Though it is different, there are similar areas that we both share. You are married so that tells me you need to work on your marriage or end it. If you were seeing someone for 10 months, that tells me you have bigger problems in your own life and should not have involved someone else. I say that because I feel that is what happen to me. I met someone at work who’s been married for 19 years, who’s been in a very abusive, controlling and manipulating relationship, has two children and came to me and confessed their love. We were together for 10 months and just like you…….it’s done. And as a result they went back to their spouse to work on their marriage that hasn’t really worked but for some reason, probably for their two children went back just a few weeks ago. I assume it will not workout and whatever happens will happen.
      I found that I personally was doing things to keep my thoughts invading me all day and night. I was listening to music that caused those thoughts to come that reminded me of the relationship. I was reminding myself, instead of living in the “now” or in the “moment”. The book “The journey from abandonment to healing” is giving me great insight as to why we are feeling what we feel, how to deal with it, and how to move past it and overcome it. I highly recommend it to you.
      I do want to comment on some of the language he used with you…” I could own you” …..you are not a piece of property and no one should ever feel that about another human beings. That in its self is a big red flag. Those are words of someone who’s controlling, arrogant, and most likely narsocistic and self centered…….not exactly someone you, or anyone should want to be with.
      I have a friend who says “I’d rather be alone than be with the wrong person”……..he is not right for you, regardless of the words he said to you. I have my own saying and I believe it to be true and you have heard it before…..’actions speak louder than words’…and his actions are not mirroring what he voiced. I would go with the actions, and how poorly you have been treated. You are not garbage and no one should feel as if they are kicking you to the curb because they are ‘done with you’. Consider yourself fortunate for it ending. Maybe this would be a good time to work on your marriage or future for yourself and decide what it is that you want, not what someone else wants for you. You have options and you have choices. Think about what it is that you want and move towards that.

  143. Dear anon,

    I’ve experienced something similar – I am attracted to a man I don’t know well, and I am 100% sure it’s because I don’t know him! There’s alot of excitement about a man one doesn’t know, because there are no irritations, flaws, weaknesses, pet peeves.

    You’re asking some really important questions about detaching from someone you love, but they’re too big to be answered here! There are things going on in your psyche and life that I know nothing of, and I can’t give you, say, five basic tips on how to let go of someone you care about. Your reasons for hanging on are deep-rooted and strong, and there are no easy answers.

    One thing I might try is allowing myself a few minutes a day to immerse myself in the idea of this man. I’d take a 10 or 15 minute “smoke break”, and just accept my feelings of longing. I’d pretend the relationship was real…..and I think I’d get bored with this figment of my imagination after a couple of days. The novelty would wear off.

    It’s possible that the reason you’re so attracted to this ideal man is because you keep fighting it. The more we fight anything, the bigger and stronger it gets. Sometimes acceptance is the easiest way to slay the dragon.

    Have you talked to a counselor about mentally detaching from the ideal or fantasy of him, so you can feel and process the pain you mentioned? The thing with the acceptance I just mentioned is that it depends on who you are, what you’ve experienced in the past, and your emotional makeup. Some people would be able to shake off the attachment after a couple days of acceptance, while others have deeper things they need to work through.

    It sounds like you want to work through the grief of the pain you’ve experienced in your past relationship. If this isn’t happening naturally, I encourage you to talk to a counselor. You might be surprised at the insights and healing that arises.


  144. Dear Jennifer,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing about your relationship. I don’t think there are any easy answers for how to stop obsessing about her, especially since you can’t understand her actions. She isn’t making decisions that make sense to the bystander, and this makes it more difficult to let her go.

    I don’t think you made mistakes when you left to visit your friend or take care of things away from home. It wouldn’t be possible to be with her constantly, and mature healthy adults do not need someone there all the time.

    It sounds like you and she were meeting each other’s needs. I wouldn’t worry about her needs, as we could spend hours speculating about what they were! Rather, it’s more productive, healthy, and beneficial to think about what needs she was meeting for you. You needed something, and she was providing that. You were getting something out of this relationship. I don’t know what that was, but I believe it’s far more effective to focus on why you are so attracted to her, and how you can work through the grief of letting her go.

    Don’t fall into the trap of discussing her motivations and actions over and over again. It’s a waste of energy, time, and money. Instead, train your brain to stay focused on how you can heal and move on.

    If I were you, I’d find a new job. I can’t help you understand why it’s so hard to detach from this woman that you care about, but I am 100% sure that the first step to letting go is removing yourself from the situation.

    What does it feel like, to think about starting over?


    1. Hi Laurie,

      Thank you for your response. I must say I am surprised that you suggest I find a new job. My therapist, and all my friends who know the situation have not suggested that, not at all. This job is what I have looked for, for many years and I truly enjoy it. Never mind the fact that it is the most money I have ever made, without my college degree. So with that said, finding a job that pays as well as this one does with out a degree is probably slim to none. Besides, I think that would be me running from the problem. She is the problem with her dysfunctional, emotion based decisions and will continue to swing on a pendulum of dysfunction. Her marriage is toxic, negative, and simply not a healthy environment. I am currently reading a book about being in the “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and he describes this dysfunction as both parties feeding off of the negative. And the need to be needed, and not loved. I was enlighted by that because anything that either one exudes for the other is love. It is a very twisted relationship. I think it is just that. I have heard the countless stories for two years of the abuse, manipulation, control and on and on, and yet she goes back. Yes, I agree I am trying to understand why she did it, and the truth is I will never know and most likely she will not express her low self esteem, all that comes with being beaten down for 20 plus years. The cycles of what come with it are explained in Tolle’s book no different than an a true addict. The addictive cycle that comes with the cycles of the drama and dysfunction, they feed off of it. I on the other hand have no time for such drama, even though I allowed myself to get caught up in it.
      You asked what I got out of the relationship. It was on a level I never knew or experienced. I have never had what felt like the fourth of July in my chest or stomach every time I saw her. Feeling as if I was being electrocuted by touching her, it was magic. Making love for three hours every time we were together, the laughter to the extent of feeling as if I truly pulled muscles, the all encompassing way she made me feel and she voiced I made her feel the same. So with all of that said, I cannot wrap myhead around the decision, but never the less a decision I cannot control. I know she has two small children and so if your therapist, family, friends, books and any and every source she used said to run and run like hell……why did you go back? I do not find it a coincidence that she went back about a week after her husband called and asked her to speed up the divorce papers so he could potentially marry this other woman he had been with for a couple of months who came with three children of her own. Michelle was totally threaten by someone having a blended family with her children, in what she has always deemed her home. Instead of running away, and signing the papers and allowing herself to continue to go through the grieving side of divorce, she ran back.
      At work lately I am appauled at the sight of her. My feelings have changed to wishing I never met her. I have never thought that about anyone and I was in other relationships that ended due to cheating on their end, but I’ve never wished that until now. I have also realized I trust absolutely nothing that comes out of her mouth. This has been the third time she has done this, and all along being so adiment that she was not going back because she now saw the dysfunction of their so called marriage. She openly admitted that she has worn a social mask for years and never shared her story with a single co-worker even though she’s worked here for 7 or 8 years……I come along and its immediate. It was an attraction from go……we both felt it and just about every worker / friend commented on the glow and would ask how many years have we been best friends and or how long have we known each other.
      So with that said, I love how she made me feel when I looked at her, when I kissed her, when I touched her, when we laughed, when we were simply together in the same space……I have never experienced any of the feelings inside my body with anyone other than her.
      I sit in an area that I can lower my chair and not see her walk by as often or at all. I guess it is in the back of my mind as to how long before this blows up in her face……my therapist, and friends all say it’s just a matter of when. I personally want to get to a place where I have far moved on and detached when that day comes. That is why I visited your site and wrote about my story in hopes of letting go and moving forward, even though there are days that I feel as if I am ripping my heart out and question how we went from such amazing experiences to absolute silence and not speaking and whatever relationship we had is no longer.

    2. hey I have a problem I have been sleeping with this guy and I no that he had a girlfriend. but we been together for two years if that’s what you want to call it. and him and her live together how dumb can I be I love him now and I don’t see anyone but him. I want to get over him but every time I break up with him I let him rite back into my life he say that he is not happy at home so why is he still ther and you no what if he was to leave her I would not trust him because look what we are doing he would do the same dam thing to me please give me some feed back

      1. That’s easy. You need to walk away, otherwise the cycle continues and you continue to get hurt. I know that is not what you want to hear but it is the truth, as my therapist told me. You are the only one allowing this to happen. He doesn’t know what he wants, and he continues to ‘have his cake and eat it too’ so to speak, and yet you are the one who is getting hurt and feels terrible.
        Let him go, have more self pride, value and respect for yourself, you are not a door matt.

        As difficult as it may be, it is the right thing to do.

  145. An attachment I had to an ex six years ago has moved to a man I barely know. I have detached physically, of course; I will never see or speak to him again, but it wouldn’t matter if I did because the ‘idea’ in my head is not him (I don’t know him), it’s an idea.

    But he’s in my head constantly and I can’t seem to get rid of him. I actually don’t want to be with anyone else – I don’t want a boyfriend – I’d rather stay with this fantasy. I don’t think it’s wise for me to have a boyfriend anyway, all that would happen was the face of my fantasy would change to their face and it would be an unhealthy attachment again.

    I’ve tried symbolically removing him, taking my mind off it, trying to focus on myself and my needs, I’ve tried saying goodbye in my head etc. and having them walk away. What I want is to feel the pain. I felt the pain when the ex left, and then again after this brief encounter (and it was very brief), and it does feel like dying. But I would rather feel the pain than be stuck in fantasy, it’s just that I can’t feel it, I can’t find it, even though I know it’s under there somewhere perpetuating all of this. I really want to feel it and face it so I can process it and get rid of it. But how do I find it? How do I mentally detach from the fantasy so that I can feel and process the pain?

    1. That sounds very unhealthy, and like a cycle you are openly admitting to staying in. You need to step out of it and break away from it. I guess that I should take my own advice, but there in its self lies the question, how do you / we do that?
      For me, I know it would be much easier if we did not work together, but we do. And so for that very reason, I anticipate and unfortunately stay attached to something I need to break away from because I wonder every day if that day is going to be another encounter of “its you that I love and want to be with”. Even though part of me wants to hear that, another part of me wants her to be out of a toxic marriage and to have the opportunity to discover who she truly is. Something that shared with me over the course of this past year, she has no idea who she is, what she likes, dislikes, or wants out of life because her husband has controlled all of those areas…..and yet she goes back. I continue to try and find logic in her ill-logical decision. I can only assume this gets better over time, because I cannot imagine it getting worse. Since I do not plan on leaving my job and neither does she, it will remain as it is and who knows what will come of it.

      1. I’d say I’m admitting to it because it’s a problem, but I’m not ‘trying’ to stay in it. I’m trying to get out of it as quickly as I can! I just don’t know how to help myself and I feel like there’s no information on how to make it end.

        1. Why don’t you do what I did and order the book that is suggested on the first post.
          Learning how to emotionally detach from someone you care about – or love with all your heart – is a process. These tips for detaching will help you retain a sense of yourself in your relationship. The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life by […]

          I ordered this book on Amazon.

  146. Dear Zack,

    It sounds like you were both using each other — you both were getting excitement, romance, confidence, and illicit thrills from cheating on your spouses. I don’t think she used you any more than you used her. You’re both consenting adults, both making the conscious decision to betray your marriage vows.

    My thought is that it’s time for you to sh*t or get off the pot. You’ve been enjoying the best of both worlds for six years, and now one of your best girls wants more. You’ve been satisfying your need for excitement and to feel needed, and you cheated on your wife because of your own selfish reasons.

    It sounds like now is the time to make a sacrifice for a relationship, which you haven’t done in the past. Up til now, you’ve sacrificed nothing. You just took whatever you wanted. Now, your mistress wants you to make a sacrifice and commit to her. She wants you to leave the comfort of the marriage you’ve been cheating on for six years, and build a life with her.

    Since you love her so much, what is holding you back? This would seem like an amazing opportunity, a chance for you to be with the woman you’ve loved for so long! I don’t understand why you’re hesitating. Now you and she can be free to love each other and commit to each other, and you can stop cheating on the wife you have marriage vows with! It’s awesome, really.

    Why would you not take this step?

    1. I have been reading many articles on this page trying to deal with what initially set out as a search for how to stop obsessing over an ex. I will jump in with both feet and explain my situation since I am struggling to pull myself out of this.

      I started working at a company a little over two years ago and immediately was drawn to another female co-worker. We hit it off from the beginning. About 6 months later, we went shopping together and she revealed to me that she was in a very abusive, controlling marriage for over now 20 years with two small children, 13 year old boy and 11 year old girl. She proceeded to share details of controlling, manipulating and cheating behaviors over the entire course of her marriage. I immediately advised how wrong her situation was and that she needed counseling. She started attending counseling on a regular basis while her husband accused me of being the problem in their marriage and he refused to attend their marriage counseling sessions. Fast forward about 8 months or so and one morning at work I asked her how her session had gone, I always asked how they were. Her response was ‘I don’t know why I bother to go, because I’m in love with you’. It was as general and matter of fact as asking someone to please pass the potatoes at Thanksgiving. She just revealed that she had been in love with me from pretty much the first moment she saw me. As odd as it sounded, I did not disagree, we shared some connection that was out for everyone to see, we glowed around each other and loved being together. In revealing our love for one another, and her deciding to leave her marriage that had been long over probably 12 plus years when he first cheated, I encouraged her to continue counseling and I had started my own with this new found love to someone of the same sex. Shortly after revealing her feelings to me, she called me the next day I left on vacation and told me she made a mistake, and did not want to ruin our friendship. I canceled my vacation, flew back to talk with her and we avoided each other for a few weeks at work. I eventually confronted her about good luck changing her heart and how she feels towards me because it was so electrifying to say the least. Needless to say, about a month passed and she returned telling me she loved me and wanted to be with me. She continued the process of leaving her husband and moved out in March. Her and I spent all of our time together when she did not have her children every other weekend. All the while encouraging and supporting also the advice of her counselors that her marriage was toxic and she was doing the right thing by leaving. Not for me, but for herself and her children. Shortly after that, about 3 months later, she came to me once again and said she wanted to be friends while she worked on her marriage. I stepped back once again and sure enough, she comes back about a month later saying she loves me and wants to be with me. Again, the relationship we had continued. I held my breath for the next three months, and when she introduced my to her group of friends I thought, wow, this is really happening. All along we both were still seeing therapist as we were discovering who we are and what we found in one another. One thing I failed to mention was that her husband never went away. He always stalked, tracked, called, followed, harrassared, threathen suicide, called her friends and family and neighbors and told all of them that she left him for another women. And yet never admitting to the real reasons of her leaving of him controlling, manipulating, cheating and mentally, verbally, emotionally and recently physically abusing her. In that time as well, he met someone that he knew for 2 months who also has three children, and they immediatly start discussing getting married. He advised my friend to speed up the paperwork process for their own divorce so he could pursue his new relationship with this woman. Needless to say, I made the mistake of stepping on a plane again to visit a friend and when I returned, I was greeted with we need to be friends and that she needs to be alone. I actually agreed with that since she had been in a relationship with her husband since she was 16, she just turned 40 this week. Needless to say, I was sitting outside having lunch at work and she approached me and said she was ending our relationship / friendship and going back to her husband. I was and am in shock at the dysfunction and toxic mix of what they deem a marriage. I believe in my heart that she was threaten by this other woman who almost had a blended family with her own children and in the only house she has ever known with her family. As a result, I am sitting here with my head spinning about how to move forward. It is very painful to witness and see her go back into a relationship that all books, counselors, scripture, writing on the wall say to run and run like hell. My therapist says I am obsessing over trying to rationalize her making an irreational decision and this is exactly true. How do I let this go, especially since we work together and I am witnessing this first hand M-F. As for her, she immediately moved back home, wearing her wedding band, and replaced our Friday lunch outings with him just as if none of the past two years ever happen. I would be able to deal with this much easier if we did not have to work together in the same department. We literally almost run into each other a few times a day while coming around a corner or coming or going in or out of the bathroom. I truly want to move beyond what feels like still a very toxic and negative situation that I feel I allowed myself to get pulled into, while at the same time having each of us reveal our love for one another on levels that neither one of us has ever known or shared or even knew we were capable of feeling, let alone for each other. I am struggling to move beyond the wonder of how long before she returns or if she will and what do I do or say. I believe her and her husband are kidding themselves with trying to force a marraige to work that never worked but stayed together for so long due to their children and money. I know this is not my problem, but I feel as if I cannot detach the way that I should and need to because we work together M-F. Please help me understand or figure out the best way for me to move forward.

  147. Hi,

    I am a married man, been attached to a married woman for 6 years. She has kids and is detached from her husband but hasn’t torn apart her family. Initially we enjoyed each other’s company and the euphoria of the relationship was very nurturing including physical attachment. The romance was incredible.
    This relationship gave me self confidence, self worth and a strong sense of belongingness. Lately our communication and intimacy has faded and she dosent like sneaking around anymore wanting us to break up . She says in future if we both are available then we might consider, but dosent enjoy the current engagement. I feel used as my support during her difficult days helped he cope and become stronger. However, I truly love her and not sure what to do….Break up with my partner for a future with this woman or try to detach myself from her. Its a 6 year long relationship so you can imagine the togetherness, memories and experiences…unimaginable to let it go.

    Would like to hear what others have to say to this

  148. Dear Loisie,

    Learning how to detach from the married man you’re having sex with depends on why you’re attached to him. Somehow, your needs are being met by him.

    When you figure out why you’re so attracted to this guy – what you’re getting out of the relationship – then you may be able to detach and get over him.

  149. Hi, am in a relationship with a married guy, he is emotionally not available, only calls me when he want sex. the issue here, is that am emotionally attached to him. I want to get over that and also get him out. we are working at one organisation.



  150. Dear Jasmine,

    Thank you for sharing here – it sounds like you’ve been through so much in your relationship! I know there have been some good parts, but it sounds like there have been many more difficult things to deal with as a couple.

    Have you thought about going to counseling on your own? Part of detaching from someone you care about is getting healthy, strong, whole and balanced as a woman.

    What do you think about seeing a counselor – not a marriage counselor, but someone for you to see on your own?

  151. My fiance and I have been together a number of years now, we have a toddler and one on the way.. The problem is the first year of our relationship was crap.. I had just broken up with my ex and wasn’t ready for anything, but he pursued me anyway.. He started resenting me after a couple months of seeing each other casually b/c i wasn’t getting over my ex fast enough, so i started to seek and cling onto some sort of relationship with my ex, when his words turned abusive (slut, goldigger, retard).. When i opened up about sexual abuse in early childhood while i was newly pregnant, he was disgusted by me and again with the cruel names and words (worthless whore, dirty cunt, you wanted it) he broke my heart and he kept saying those things, so i continued my on and off friendship with my ex for comfort while he and i were still getting closure for our break up and why.. We only talked about every couple of months.. But my realtionship with my bf just continued to get worse.. After having my son via c-section he trashed me all over town, telling people i was ruined and stretched and cheating then tried telling me he didn’t want people fantasizing about me and making comments.. He cut off my contact with loved ones and looked in the shower and in corners as if someone was going to be there.. His paranoia got to the point that police had to be involved.. And he hates me for that.. We got back together after a month and a half apart to try to patch things up and be a family.. We started counseling both individually and couple.. Recently i’ve found evidence that he cheated a couple months after our reconciliation, when he claimed to be “over the moon” happy, i also found evidence that he’s been flirting only weeks ago.. He said i deserved it the first time b/c i hurt him and this time b/c i don’t ever believe him when he says i’m beautiful, even though he has had a horrible wandering eye since, i got pregnant, would pressure me for a 3somes and looking up other women on facebook, even friends of mine then watched porn right after.. To him I deserve to be punished for the rest of my life, for some mistakes i made the first year we were together.. I know i should’ve taken more time to heal before dating anyone, but i didn’t.. But he also chose to pursue me, knowing situation even after i said i wasn’t ready or refused to return his “i love you” a few weeks after we started seeing each other.. I shouldn’t have consoled in my ex about our problems , but i did.. I’ve acknowledge my mistakes, but he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong, i always “deserved it.” In counseling we were both supposed to accept the good from that time and let go of the past, learn from those mistakes and move forward.. I let it go, it still hurts to think about how bad it was, but i don’t use it against him either.. He on the other hand doesn’t i try to talk about an issue in the now and he will bring up something i did years ago from that negative time and say i’m not perfect and spew some more hateful reminders, while avoiding his own wrong doings.. I don’t know if detaching myself will take away his power or satisfaction by hurting me. I’m tired of giving him that ego boost and satisfation of what he percieves as “winning” but i’m willing to try, i just don’t know where to start.. He isn’t like this all the time, only when it’s convenient to open up his bag of tricks to try to hurt me during a disagreement.. Instead of working in issue he would rather hurt me to “win”.. P.S. We have not been in counseling for over a year now.. Thanks

  152. Another tip on how to detach from someone you care about is to accept that at some level, you’ll always be attached to him or her. We can never fully extricate our hearts from someone we love!

    1. okay… I need advice then. I got emotionally attached to my son’s martial arts teacher… considering taking him to more convenient location but part of me doesn’t know if I can handle completely not seeing teacher at all. But I have a month of carefully considering what to do. A “temporary” break… but I do need advice. I am a healthy person but this person has made me feel a wide range of emotions from irritation, frustration, and giddiness. lol But it distanced me from my husband.

  153. Dear Angela,

    That’s great that you recognize that you’re not in a healthy relationship. The first step to detaching from your boyfriend is realizing that you’re not good for each other. Often, we start to emotionally pull away before we leave the relationship – it’s a process.

    Stay true to you,

  154. This is a great blog just reading people mail and knowing that you are not the only one in these type of situations makes me feel much better. My problem is kind of different, but I want to let go, Im the problem with the man that I have deep feelings for, he was hurt by one of my ex and seem to not trust me anymore. No matter how I try to regain the trust from him, nothings works, we can be in each others presence hug and kiss each other, than he puts up this wall that separates us and steps back. I need to move on because it is not healthy for me or him.

  155. Thanks for your comments and book recommendation! Boundaries is a great book on overcoming emotional over-involvement.

  156. Kary, before you get more involved, might I suggest you try Boundaries in Dating with Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend? Men don’t listen to what we say. They listen to what we do. I suggest you watch his actions before getting more involved. He could be playing you.

  157. Hi Kary,

    I think you should believe him when he says he doesn’t want a relationship. He is being honest and telling you the truth: he does not want to fall in love and commit his life to you.

    Don’t make the mistake of believing he’ll change his mind! You don’t have a future with him, because he doesn’t want a future with you.

    So, you have a choice: proceed and fall in deeper and deeper in love with him even though you know he can’t give you what you need, or start detaching now so you can heal and move on. Either way, it’ll be painful.

    Where do you see yourself in a year? What kind of life do you want to be leading?

  158. Hello. I’m a college student and I’m in this relationship that I am not sure what to do with. The thing is that in the beginning of it all we agreed upon a “not too serious” relationship. He stated clearly that he wasn’t looking for love in any relationship for the time being, yet it is not a short term relationship. Hearing that he’s not looking for love sunk my heart 1,000 feet underwater! I like him too much and I could see a future with him. I am confused on whether to leave him or just stick for the ride. I said to myself that I would take this one day at a time but I can’t help but think of the future. Unlike him he doesn’t think of the future at all. I have to clue how he does it.

  159. hi.. I have this feeling that I fell in-love to a wrong person. He is a Frenchman, married and has a one baby boy. I met him Online. We chatted and video chat for 2months now. I figured out that I was falling in love with him slowly. He always reminded of how he loved his family. I want to detached this feeling for him and stop loving him. I want to let go of this. All i know is I want him so badly.

  160. Dear Rachelle,

    Letting go of an ex is one of the hardest things to do! It often seems so much easier to just sink back into life together, to hope that your relationship will improve or change.

    But sometimes the best route is to keep moving forward. I can’t give you specific advice because I don’t know you or your ex-boyfriend, but I do believe that sometimes distance is the best way to see your relationship more clearly.

    Maybe you and he should take a 3 month break from each other? Don’t just drop out of his life without closure or a conversation – that’s not healthy for him or you. But perhaps you could tell him that you care for him and even love him, but you think a break would be the best thing for both of you.

    A break — no contact via email, text, phone, etc — may help you see your relationship more clearly. It’ll help quell the emotions, and give you time and space to take a deep breath and figure out what to do next.

    While you’re on your break, you could start thinking about specific ways to detach from someone you care about. Here’s an article that may help:

    I hope this helps a little. What do you think?


  161. btw, i forgot to mention that he’s finally working, but, still he’s unhappy about his job and miserable in it.. i was also thinking that based on how things turns out after my “trip”, i thought i’d like for us to look into getting counseling together.. this is if he’s still around then or still wants to try to fix us.. do you think i should even bother?

  162. hi Laurie, thank you so much for your response.. a lot has happened since my last post.. i’ve recently (literally 2 days ago) moved out of the house we were renting which was his aunt’s house. i was trying to get along with him and i thought we were doing fine and seemed to be making progress as he seemed to be making a little more effort than before.. however, now his parents has become an issue between us and it all finally came out that his mom didn’t want us to get back together.. we’ve also realized, my ex and I, that he might be going thru some emotional distress disorder due to all the things that’s been happening.. these are all based on what i see and what he tells me about what he’s feeling and going through. it’s like he’s emotionally disabled and don’t know what to do, how to feel and how to fix himself and us anymore.. he has also mentioned being so depressed and at times thinking of hoping to not wake up when he goes to sleep and other ways that he hoped would put him out of his misery.. he doesn’t talk about committing suicide or hurting himself in anyway, just that he hoped something bad would happen to him so he would be gone.. i think that because he’s now so vulnerable his mom has brainwashed him about me treating him badly if he comes back to me and he has told me that he fears that now but still he won’t let go and hopes that we could try to talk, get along and build a stronger foundation so we get back to how we used to be.. idk what to do anymore.. i’ve gotten along with him and has tried to give in to everything he has asked for but there were days when i would get hurt and it would be so much that all i’d want is to just stay away from him so for days i would ignore his texts and avoid.. and when i did this he would go back to the way it was, of him closing up on me, being cold and distant and we would have to start all over again.. he tells me he tries to see my side of things but he’s hurting too.. now because of all the pain, i decided to lie to him and told him i will be gone on a trip for a few weeks out of the country were it would be hard to get a hold of me.. this is so we could have some break from each other and i’m hoping that it would give him time to truly think of what’s going on.. i’m not hoping that he’d realize how much he loves me anymore, in fact, i’m thinking the worst, that he’d probably realize that he’s better off without me.. i’m just worried about him coz of his state of mind as idk how bad things would be for him while i’m gone… should i contact him just to see if he’s ok? i’d hate to do that coz it’ll beat the purpose of giving us a break but i also don’t want him to ever feel i abandoned him.. i know how that feels coz that’s what i felt he has done to me… again thank you for your time.. i truly appreciate it.

  163. Dear Danny,

    Knowing how to detach from your girlfriend – how to heal and move on – depends on your personality, lifestyle, and how long the relationship lasted. There aren’t any immediate prescriptions or quick fixes for overcoming lost love.

    How long were you together, and why did you break up? Have you talked to a counselor about the relationship, and your difficulty moving on? The answers to those questions might help you figure out how to detach and heal.

  164. Dear Rachelle,

    Thank you for sharing your story – it sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your boyfriend! I can’t tell you what he’s thinking or what he’s trying to do.

    It sounds like you’re doing all the work in your relationship and you’re making a lot of really difficult decisions. He’s sort of coasting, and contacting you but not doing any real WORK. By that I mean making an effort to spend time with you, get a job, build a life with you and the kids in a home. Texting is super easy and doesn’t require hardly any effort.

    What do you want to see happen in this relationship? Would you rather detach yourself, or do you want things to continue as they are?

    Remember that your boyfriend won’t change. He is who he is, and it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to make big changes in his life.

    If you could have anything in this relationship, what would it be?

  165. hi, my situation is pretty complicated and i’m hoping that you can give me some advice somehow.. my bf and i was going on 2 1/2 years by next month. in spite of me having pmdd (which made life really difficult a few days each month), in our first 1 1/2 years together, things were really good and he was the perfect guy who i thought was the one i would want to spend the rest of my life with. a year ago he lost his job and up until now he hasn’t been able to find employment. for the past year i have shouldered everything, (i have 2 daughters from another relationship), i took care of us financially and things would’ve been so bad if things on his end didn’t change. he stopped or rarely became intimate with me, he got depressed and started feeling down on himself, however, i did all i could to try to lift his spirits up by supporting him emotionally, and in every way i could, i spoiled him and basically gave him anything he asked for in the hopes that at least would make him happy even temporarily and i tried to remain the same as i’ve always been. unfortunately, coz of the stress and feeling rejected by him, my pmdd got worst. i had to seek therapy (and at one point i had him see my therapist just so he understood what i was going through, at least that’s what i hoped it would do).. instead he stopped seeing her and i felt more rejected by him. we started fighting so much, more than usual, at times it got physical, i’ve kicked him out a few times and in spite of all the fights, he came up with the solution of moving out of state, to florida (from ny), thinking that financially it’ll be easier for us due to the cost of living.. he convinced me to move and told me that things would get better and he would be better.. for the first 2-3 months i was traveling from ny to fl every other weekend to be with him and my daughters as i had to keep my job in ny. however, i noticed that he wasn’t pushing to get a job and i was stuck traveling which made things a lot harder for me, i missed my kids and i missed not being with all of them.. the stress level for me got higher due to the situation.. the few days i’d be in florida we would find ourselves arguing. then in september we had a huge fight and i kicked him out again. this time it was a lot easier for him to leave because his parents lives 5 minutes away. i’ve realized that having his parents near him made things worse for us, it felt as if now that his parents are nearby, he didn’t care as much to be away from me unlike before when he couldn’t bear the thought of being away from me physically. because of the problems, i decided to resign from my job to stay with my kids.. eventually he came back home, however, arguments and fights didn’t stop. i was very frustrated with how he seemed to take me for granted, our situation, me physically and worst is i started to feel as if he was taking advantage of me and the situation, that i shouldered everything. eventually, he would be the one to just leave and run off to his parents’ house whenever we would argue and i started to feel abandoned more and more.. a month ago, we had another big fight, i told him once again how i felt so rejected by him, how i felt he wasn’t pushing to try to get or look for a job since i was the one who constantly would submit his resumes for him while he surfs the internet for sports news and what-not.. he turned things around on me and blamed my pmdd and how it pushed him away from me coz of it. he said that i constantly just bicker with him and when i would go through my bad days i would constantly push him away or isolate myself which he hated.. i isolated myself coz it was my only way to avoid us from fighting and it was my only way to deal with it to calm me down. i’ve asked him time and time again to let me have my space during those days so i can deal with it in my own way without starting an argument, however he would never allow me to have that time to myself and would constantly push and push or force his way to get to me through locked doors, etc., until we start getting into a fight.. when he left again a month ago coz of an argument, this time i told him not to come back..and this time he didn’t. i’ve tried to detach myself from him, from changing my cell phone number, to blocking him from both my cell and emails but because i still love him, i found myself returning his texts and emails.. in spite of everything, he would text me everyday, from the moment he wakes up and he won’t stop until i respond. i asked him back but he wouldn’t come back saying that he wants us to take our time and try to get along first and go from there. during thanksgiving he never bothered to spend time with me and that hurt me even more. i moved out here for him and yet he abandons me and i feel as if he’s really not making an effort besides his daily texts of “hellos”, “how are you” or “how was your day” and go from there. i don’t know what to think, i don’t know if he’s just stringing me along and i don’t know what he really wants from me. he tells me that he wants to find a job and get back his manhood that he felt he lost after losing his job, he has been depressed and really down on himself, he doesn’t want to jump back into the relationship and wants to “rebuild” us by talking, hanging out and getting along, just like how we did in the beginning of our relationship and eventually he tells me he wants us to get back together.. he tells me he still loves me the same but just wants to take things slow. but he doesn’t really make an effort to see me and i live 5 mins away from him. again, what is this? what is he trying to do? is he just playing me coz i really don’t know what to believe anymore. please help..

  166. Hi
    It has been two years and I am still trying to detach myself from my girlfriend. I have annulled my marriage once because I didn’t feel right to marry someone when I am still emotionally involved with someone else.
    Any suggestions????

  167. I’m at a loss. I’m 36 dating a 21 yr old! He lives 5 minutes from me on the same road. I have such strong feelings for him, but he is always in need for something. He has ADD ADHD, a rare stomach disorder and is always anxious without medicinal herb. He knows I have strong feelings for him, but his actions to me are so hot and cold. He has no car, no job and uses his moms cell phone? All he does is focus on how his room looks and when the next grateful dead concert is coming. What am I doing? He broke up with me because he was tired of me hurting him? All he ever does is ask for things and for some reason I would justify it by what ever thing is happening at that moment, but never do we just live in the moment and enjoy each other. How could I do this to myself. He is like an addiction to me. He’s not even that attractive but for some reason he moves me. It’s not even the sex. He wants us to have a day where we are not arguing about something. It’s hard to be with someone that is always stressed out and really has not much to be stressed out about!! What his bedroom? I just wish I had the strength to let him go, I really need help.

  168. Continuing from up top… He’s not happy we went over everything I kept asking him why he wasn’t happy he doesn’t give me a reason he says he doesn’t know. I cook, I clean, I do laundry so I’m a neat freak but so is he. I don’t get it were great together. He tells me it’s not me it’s him!!!! Is he serious. Bottom line is this I would do ANYTHING for this man. He will not give me z chance he says he’s MADD up his mind he doesn’t see a future for us. He says he loves me but he’s not in love with me. I Feel like I’m dying. To make matters worse my daughter and I moved in with him in January and now he wants us both out by End of August. Were still living together we have dinners, together with the kids were civil about the whole cituation mbut I’m dying inside. I feel like he doesn’t care. He says he’s sorry but in reality I don’t really think he is. And now he’s trying to be a hero he’s helping me find sn apparment knowing I lost my job in may. Unemployment is not enough to cover rent, utility bills, car payment, car insurance, food and all other nevesities. I don’t want to have to take my daughter out of college it’s her 2 year there and she likes it but I can’t afford it. I haven’t told her yet. We still sleep in the same bed, he had said no more sexual relations but I’ve made that very hard on him and Webe been doing “it” I convinced him by telling him Hey it’s just sex No Strings attached. I’m lying to myself!!!!! I love him and I’m in love with him I need advice on how to fight his decision I want to be with him. How can I change his mind. He says he has other priorities. I once thought I was on that list I guess I wad wrong. Please any advice on how to keep him, how to make it work, what to do next!!!! I’m lost!!!!

  169. My Name is Maria, I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 4 years. These have been the BEST Years of my life. Last year around April of 2011 we had “the talk” he initiated it he tells me
    That he’s not happy anymore. I thought things were fine at the time I guess I was wrong. Having in mind that this was and is the love of my life I begged and pleaded for us to try to save our relationship it didn’t quite work. We broke up for 2 weeks those were the longest 2 weeks of my life I WAS DEVISTATED. this was around his birthday id call him and either he ignored my calls or would pick up but with z very cold voice. I texted him and left him voicemails. One day before his birthday I called and asked him to meet me as friends he accepted under the condition we didn’t speak about our relationship. We met I wore his favorite dress it was like magic we sat and had a few drinks he apologized and said he messed up we left together. We got back together until last week he told me he couldn’t do this anymore that he couldn’t be with me anymore. He still has NOT given me a reason of why. He tells me that he hasn’t been in love with me for the past 2 years. Can u believe that 2 YEARS!!!!! last October while still together he rents a little house and had made up a contract under both our names this was a rental with an option to buy. Here I am thinking wow this is it!!! My boyfriend my home our future together. We have children from past relationships he has 2 sons ages 21 and 24 I have a daughter 20. Now It hasnt always been great in the house but we managed. By December he gives me an ultimatum to move in with HIM. At first I was very hesitant but I didn’t want to lose him so I moved in with him in Jan of 2012. In April we yet again had the talk he’s not happy he says

  170. hey,
    In the ending of last year i’ve met the most adoring, loveable, unique, and expectacualr girl someone would ever want to meet. while getting to know her i discovered a lot, learned a lot and tasted the meaning of life. My goals where resigned, determined, and my mind was clear. in the past 9 month my life changed dramaticly and from my last love ( 4 years ago i was broken hearted too i detached myself, it felt like killing the person i was and the experience changed me completly) i couldn’t think that i would love someone again. but that didn’t happen i love this girl even more and i used my experience from the last one to reach levels with this girl that i wouldn’t dream of.
    she informed me many times that she was confused about the relationship because of my age (we are in same age), and my preparedness for a serious commitment and she said i jump into things without thinking ( i sometimes assumed being spontaneous is better, i was wrong) but most of the time this wasn’t a problem and we were having the love of our life she was happy and i can’t even describe what i was feeling, it was ture happiness in its crystal forms.
    in the last days of May she told me that we have to stop she was very cool when she said that i felt that i couldn’t respond to that she told me that se needs a break to think about things and i knew back then thats this is the begining of the end, i was so devastated about that so i recpected her request (although i knew it will cost me the love of my life, but i had to), last week she told me that shes getting married next week it was a mental shock for me, but i hold a solid grib of myself and i wished her the best and after she hang up i prayed for the best for her she deserve it.
    all i’m saying is i love this girl and i think detaching myself will not be easy and wont be in my best interest because i will forget all the memories about her and that would change my personaltiy again for the second time in only 4 years period i wont be stable for years and i will suffer alot in the future. (physically i will not try to be close to her nor i will disturb her marriage nor her life)
    the question is : Is having hopes of her coming back a good thing or its not? why plz?

  171. I really need some advice , ive been with my bf for 3 years, and two days bfore r 3year anniversary i found out he was tlking to this girl, but it was 3months ago, i confronted him and he said it was one time , it seemed like he didnt care , it really hurt me bcuz i trusted him he said sorry and stuff, but i still think about it everyday , anf i get really mad over it , idk whts wrong with me i cant let it go , i feel like .. Why should i let him wlk around and b happy , and me just forget about it like nothing happened im 18 by the way and he’s 21 , wht should i do ?

  172. Me and my bf has been together for two years we split up then got back together. I found out a month ago he lives with his ex. He spends five nights a week with me he answers every phone call and text i seen to him on the days he dont spend the night he spends the day with me. I love him very much but its hard to except that he lives with his ex. I dont know what to do. We get along do everything together. But he lives with ex

  173. I hae tried several times over the last 6 years to detach from my now husband and it hurt each time. Really bad. It may be like quitting smoking. im going to attempt to detach from my husband soon and move to another town. I hope this time it works, because I do Not want to live like this anymore. I cant do it, for my own health, as I now know that I have to take care of myself so I can care for my children. so, here goes. wish me luck.

  174. my girlfriend of two years broke up with me because we had a little misunderstanding and ever since i have been trying to get her back but she insist not. how do i detach and stop loving her?

  175. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Is it easier to detach from someone you care about if you believe that your life is in God’s hands, and that this breakup is better for you in the long run?

  176. Hello I’ve been married for 5 yrs now but we’ve been together 10 yrs total and my husband cheated on me and I cheated rite bac too wrongs don’t make a rite we were both wrong but I had to let him know your not gonna do this to me and I’m just gonna sit back oh hell no I think every man cheats you know how many married men ask me out after me telling them I’m married also its a game u have to play

  177. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I wrote another article to help you detach from someone you care about. I can’t keep up with all the comments on this blog – I wish I could respond to everyone individually, but I just can’t!

    This article is based on Coral’s comments…

    Can’t Get Over the Divorce? How to Survive Your Marriage Ending

    The tips aren’t just for people going through divorces; they’re for anyone who is trying to move on after a separation or loss. I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts here or there.


  178. im having a very hard time detaching from my ex-spouse. He has cheated on me through 17 years of marriage. I developed non- hodgkins lymphomia last year and he started talking to women on the internet. I lost my hair and he called me names. I divorced him but since then we have tried to work it out but I caught him cheating on me again. Why cant I get away from him? And why do I still love him please somebody help me? My heart and my spirit is broken and I cant seem to find out why I feel this way.

  179. Im so hurt at the moment and really need advise and i feel just typing this out is also gonna help me not feel so alone. I have been dating my bf for a year and a couple months and for the first 8 months he was crazy bout me told me he wants to marry me lets just say he would have done everything for me and i was not really there… I loved him but not that affectionate etc. We live together and been going really down hill since. Its got really bad he has no emotion to me and just shrugs me off, no matter how much i cry and express my love for him he is not bothered. he goes out and tells his friends all the fyts we have etc and allows his friends to speak really nasty to me and give me afdvice in there tone , and i know him before he would have booted his friend if that were the case. He just shows no care and really nasty i send him messages and no reply. Please give me advice on what i should do. im destroyed and feel like i have no where to go.

  180. I need some advice…I dated a guy for 9 months and I fell in love with him..Towards the end we argued alot about silly things but he was all I ever wanted. One day I found it in my heart to ask him if he really loved me and if he was serious..his response was “that I care about you but im not in love with you”…Immediately my heart broke b/c I really cared for him. He told me that he loved me before and he wanted to marry one day and everything. I meant his family and all. I was confused and hurt. I asked him if it was someone else and he said NO… We didnt speak in a month, so one day I text him and asked him why did he try me..he called me and told me that he went behind my back and met up with his ex bc they never had closure. This woman cheated on him and treated him horrible- (he told me that she knew about me). I was devastated bc i give this guy the best of me and now he treats me like i never existed. he told me that he dated her for six years and he was willing to take the risk. Im so hurt, I want to let go its been about 4 months but I still care for him and miss him. I hate the way I feel. Now he is living his life with his ex. The last thing he texted me was he was happy with his ex and dont contact him. Did this guy ever care for me? or was it a joke bc he moved on so quick. What should I do now b/c my heart is broken. -btw the other day he contacted my sister bf which is his bff and asked him if he thinks that me or my sister will ever talk to him…Why would he ask that after he treated me so bad???.Im so hurt, and I need some advice. btw he lives in a different city from me..but the his ex lives in the same city as him. How to let go?

  181. Hello,

    My situation is a little different. I have become a mother to one of my exchange students. We have grown a strong bond over the last 2 or so years. He has become a part of our family. He is now in college and has a girlfriend that he wants me to desperately get to know. The last few visits, he has spent a lot of time talking to her on the phone and I feel emotionally hurt by it. I know this is normal for teenagers to talk all the time but I really need to be emotionally detached but at the same time be a mom to him. He would be devastated if I totally cut him off but I am finding it difficult emotionally. I want to be his mom and that is it without the emotions. I get angry when he leaves the room to talk to his girlfriend. I thought I was so over it. I have even talked to him about it and he tries to be discreet. Of course his girlfriend calls him 5 to 6 times a day while he is visiting and I find that very disturbing. Can you offer any suggestions on how to let go but not let go?

  182. Hello,

    I have been trying to detach from my ex for over a year now and as you stated there are good days when I am empowered to move on and there are bad days when I feel as if I cant move on because no one will ever make me feel the way that he does. What makes the pain even worse is that even if I wanted to get back with him I couldn’t because he is incarcerated. I have loved him sine I was 14years old and I am now 28. It hurts because I feel that I have been waiting to begin my life (marriage and kids) with him and now that his freedom is uncertain I feel that I wont ever get that chance again. He is my first love and my only love….

  183. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Renee,

    I’m so sorry to hear how hard it is for you to detach from your lost love…..one thing to focus on is why you keep breaking up! Obviously something is off kilter with your relationship, otherwise you’d stay together.

    To overcome heartbreak, I encourage you to focus on the reasons for breaking up. That might help you detach.

    If you need more tips, I’ve written about a dozen articles on breaking up and letting go of someone you love! Let me know if you want the links; I can put them here.


  184. Hi I am finding it sooooooo difficult to detach. I feel like I am going to die. So I never get through the initial detachment because I end up going back. The pain is so unbearable the only way to stop it is if I get back together.
    I dont know if I should be with him or not. All I know is when we split I feel like I am dieing.,