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A painful decision

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  • A painful decision

    Hello,

    I've been in a relationship for almost three years. To start with, everything was great - isn't that usually the case? - but as time went on, I started to find out that my partner has a lot of underlying mental health problems that she didn't reveal until a few months later and didn't know how deep-seated they actually were until we had moved in together a year later.

    A lot of her issues come from the fact that her daughter passed away just over 21 years ago from Meningitis; this is something that my partner couldn't accept and deal with at the time and is now only starting to get counselling for. I also found out that she tried to take her own life last December.

    For the last year or so, the intimate side of the relationship has died off - certainly from my side, as I don't feel attracted to her in that way anymore. I certainly care for her and everything; I love her, in the way you would love a long-term close friend, but I'm not IN love with her, if that makes sense?

    I'm not saying I'm perfect; I thought I had sorted out my issues, but as time goes on, I realise that I still have more work to do! My partner has had several counselling sessions recently, but now wants to stop them, as she wants to 'sort other areas of her life out first that are interfering with her emotional progress.' Surely you should sort out the emotional stuff first?

    The problem I'm having is that whilst I realise that separating might be best for both of us, I am concerned how it will affect her and what she might do. :/ This is the main reason for not wanting to make any big decisions.

    She has a huge family and is one of seven, so I know that she would be looked after and would have plenty of support. She often goes away and helps her family out and is sometimes away for long periods of time. Initially, I missed her but now I really enjoy being by myself. When she comes back, I start to feel stifled, depressed and frustrated.

    I realise that I am fundamentally answering my own question, but I would love some feedback from other people.

    Thank you.


  • #2
    If she has a large, supportive family, that's a real plus. You sound like you're suffocating in this relationship, and I think, given what you have written, that the best thing would be to end the relationship.

    Loving someone isn't always enough to maintain a relationship.
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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    • #3
      Think about what's best for you. In none of your post did you mention any backup plans for yourself and what your support network is like or how you feel about potentially moving forward. I suspect that you may not be ready to move forward at all because you haven't dealt with your heavy feelings of guilt. Just a reminder that this was three years you spent with her, not thirty. I am not downplaying those three years but you should know by now whether this is how you want to spend the rest of your life.

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      • #4
        The problem I'm having is that whilst I realise that separating might be best for both of us, I am concerned how it will affect her and what she might do. :/ This is the main reason for not wanting to make any big decisions.
        Once you break up with her contact her family and tell them what's up and then let them look after her.

        You're not happy so don't be a martyr.
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

        Comment


        • #5
          She has a very long history, it seems, of avoiding uncomfortable feelings and dealing with her "stuff". There are consequences to that. By sacrificing yourself to "protect" her from being uncomfortable, you allow her to keep avoiding her stuff. By leaving, you show her the real consequences of that avoidance. That's all you can do. What she does with that knowledge is up to her.

          So compassionately tell her why you cannot continue the relationship, then wish her the best. And, as Phases suggested, let her family know that she might be needing their support.

          Your reasons for ending things might be...

          My needs are not being met...
          I see that you have much to work out and I need someone who is ready to be a full partner...
          I've come to realize that we are not compatible....
          This just isn't working for me anymore...

          You don't have to trash her to justify leaving. And you don't need to point out all of her shortfalls.

          If she offers to continue counseling and get better, that's great, but that doesn't obligate you to stay. You can end the relationship and separate anyway. If you want to give her consideration in the future, you can offer to meet up in six months or longer and see how she's changed and consider starting over. But don't maintain contact in the meantime.

          Good luck

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
            Think about what's best for you. In none of your post did you mention any backup plans for yourself and what your support network is like or how you feel about potentially moving forward. I suspect that you may not be ready to move forward at all because you haven't dealt with your heavy feelings of guilt. Just a reminder that this was three years you spent with her, not thirty. I am not downplaying those three years but you should know by now whether this is how you want to spend the rest of your life.
            Thanks for your response.

            Sometimes, three years can feel like thirty and vice versa. I didn't state any contingency plans, as I didn't feel it was relevant at the time of posting and just wanted to get to the crux of the matter - however, since you bring it up, I can say that I have definitely made some backup plans and squirrelled away enough money to cover the cost of finding my own place. I have a small group of good friends who would make a great support network, as all my family have now passed away.

            You are right though; I'm not quite ready to make the leap just yet. It would be easier if she was an unpleasant person, but that's not so - there isn't a mean bone in her body, which for me makes it all the more difficult.
            Last edited by gravitywave; September 15th, 2018, 09:17 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
              Once you break up with her contact her family and tell them what's up and then let them look after her.

              You're not happy so don't be a martyr.
              That's great advice and I appreciate it, thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pollon View Post
                She has a very long history, it seems, of avoiding uncomfortable feelings and dealing with her "stuff". There are consequences to that. By sacrificing yourself to "protect" her from being uncomfortable, you allow her to keep avoiding her stuff. By leaving, you show her the real consequences of that avoidance. That's all you can do. What she does with that knowledge is up to her.

                So compassionately tell her why you cannot continue the relationship, then wish her the best. And, as Phases suggested, let her family know that she might be needing their support.

                Your reasons for ending things might be...

                My needs are not being met...
                I see that you have much to work out and I need someone who is ready to be a full partner...
                I've come to realize that we are not compatible....
                This just isn't working for me anymore...

                You don't have to trash her to justify leaving. And you don't need to point out all of her shortfalls.

                If she offers to continue counseling and get better, that's great, but that doesn't obligate you to stay. You can end the relationship and separate anyway. If you want to give her consideration in the future, you can offer to meet up in six months or longer and see how she's changed and consider starting over. But don't maintain contact in the meantime.

                Good luck
                Thanks very much for your advice. As I said to Rose Mosse, if she were a bad person, then it would make things all the more easier, but she is not. I think the last two reasons you stated are the most accurate and appropriate. I'm not one to point out people's faults and if pressed, certainly not in a tactless way - I've got plenty of my own to be pointing the finger at anyone else.

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