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Should You Give Up on Your Relationship?

Sometimes giving up on your relationship is the best thing you can do. Here’s how to know when to give up on a relationship instead of trying to make it work – these tips are inspired by a reader who asked for help deciding if she should stay or go.

Should You Give Up on Your Relationship?Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Dr. Bethany Marshall is an excellent resource for women trying to decide if they should give up on a relationship.

Here’s what one of my readers says: “I found out that my boyfriend had been cheating on me with another girl for 8 months. I decided to forgive him and stay, to give him a chance to work this relationship out because I know it’s worth it. But I’ve been very physically and emotionally insecure after since.  He claims he’s over her. But he’s been listening to sad songs, and saying his friends were trying to patch things up between them. He doesn’t let me take look at his phone, and says I’ll get paranoid if he tells me who he’s hanging out with. I have no idea what I should do. Please help.” – on Can Trust Your Boyfriend After He Cheated?

It’s Better to Give Up on Your Relationship When…

The most important sign that it’s better to give up on your relationship is your own gut feeling…and I think Michelle’s gut is telling her that she can’t make it work with him because he isn’t meeting her halfway. She has good reason not to trust him – he’s giving her reasons not to trust him!

You and your partner have different life goals

One of my guy friends wants to have children – he’s 39, and feeling like it’s now or never. But, his 37 year old girlfriend doesn’t want kids. They’ve broken up and gotten back together several times because he wants kids and she doesn’t…and they keep trying to work things out. Neither one will budge on their life goals, but they love each other too much to split up.

If he doesn’t want to give up on this relationship, then he needs to make peace with never having children. It really is as simple as that.

You keep hoping things will get better – but they never do

One my article about the cycle of abuse, a reader said she knows deep down that she should give up on her relationship, but she keeps hoping things will improve. Many women (and men!) stay in loveless marriages or unhealthy relationships for years or even decades, hoping things will get better.

If you’ve been unhappy for more than a few months, then it’s better to give up on your relationship.

Your partner doesn’t care about trying to work things out

Do you feel alone in your relationship? Does it seem like your partner doesn’t love or respect you – much less want to work on your relationship? Are you the only one who wants to learn how to fix your relationship? That’s another common complain women have about their partners: they just don’t seem to care enough to say “I love you”, much less build a strong, healthy relationship.

If your partner doesn’t want to do his part in working things out, then you need to give up. You can’t create a healthy relationship all by yourself.

If you don’t think you can survive without him, read You’re Scared to Be Alone, But Know You Need to End Your Relationship.

Your gut knows what’s best

Why is it crucial to listen to your gut when you’re trying to decide if you should give up or make your relationship work? Because your gut is picking up on signs and signals that your conscious mind isn’t aware of. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking does an excellent job describing how our subconscious picks up on external cues and clues. That’s how your gut works: it picks up on things in the environment you’re not even aware of.

when to give up on relationship

“Should You Give Up on Your Relationship?”

In Michelle’s case, I believe she’s picking up on signals from her boyfriend that show who he really is. I don’t think she can trust a guy who cheated on her for eight months – and her gut is telling her the same thing. But it’s not her insecurities that are telling her she should give up on this relationship. It’s him. Her boyfriend is telling her he’s doesn’t want to try to make it work (he’s hanging out with friends of the girl he cheated on, he isn’t showing Michelle his phone, and he’s accusing her of being paranoid and insecure). Sometimes you have to listen to your gut about when to give up on a relationship.

Deciding whether you should give up or make it work can take a long time – it’s a big decision. If you really want to save your relationship, read How to Get Help for Your Marriage.

What do you think – is it better to give up on your relationship, or try to make it work?

I welcome your comments on the “should I give up on my relationship?” question below. I can’t tell you when you should give up on a relationship, but you might find your own answers by writing about them below.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

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48 thoughts on “Should You Give Up on Your Relationship?”

  1. This is my relationship, I don’t know if I should give up on it. At the beginning, when I was getting to know him, I was his best friend for 3 months and I told him I wanted to be more than friends. I was his girlfriend for 6 months and now I have been his best friend with benefits for 4 months. But during the “best friends” relationship he dated a girl and I was fine with it and then he broke up with her since he didn’t want to be in that relationship in the first place since he still has feelings towards me and I have feelings towards him but I want to ask him if I could be his girlfriend since I don’t want to lose him. Also he said he wants to be by himself right now since he is dealing with a lot. So I’m trying to decide should continue to be his best friend with benefits or his girlfriend?

  2. This is What I know or should I say an experiencing now actually the last 4 yrs- I have been married 27 years, when I first met my husband he was ending his marriage( although he told me they were divorced)- he had a drinking problem and had been in iced with a woman whom he got pregnant and had taken her for an abortion .Yet I still managed to see the good side of him as he treated me wonderful I could not see what these other women saw in him that was bad ( love is blind) anyway he went through treatment became a pastor of a church we had a wonderful life – a full life taking care of children then grands then my mother- he was wonderful thru this all- -I however was used ip by taking care of others- We had problems and most had to do with him although he seem to throw it all back on me- anyway I had him on a pedestal I NEVER would have believed he would cheat, but he did- Guess who with?- that’s right the girl he cheated on with his previous wife and got pregnant, then took for an abortion because she wasn’t good enough for daytime I guess?- I promise I’m getting to my point-So He has a 7 months affair with this woman- I find out only because of his uncharteristic behavior I started noticing in the fall after my mother passed( yes he was cheating on me as I dealt with my mother long bout with brain cancer- so I did find out the truth after he had lied and said it was with someone else- then he acted like he was remorseful a couple months, over the last 4 yrs he started back drinking, has made passes sent inappropriate text to other women, Kurd over and over and IM FURIOUS and that’s what’s killing our marriage- this man is an outright narcissist – Si if your spouse has an affair and doesn’t show genuine remorse – LEAVE- don’t be as miserable as I am I have never felt such pain , pain I don’t want to feel for a man that has so little respect for the pain he’s caused me

  3. Hi. I met this guy on a dating site, after three months of talking we decided to meet. He is studying, we are both studying and are in the same city. After that we stopped talking via WhatsApp because “his phone died”. It’s been six months now and he calls only once a week and its always a private number! He also added my sister on facebook without my permission! My cousin as well! He told me he it his mothers cellphone. But it all doesn’t add up cause he told me he doesn’t leave with his mother but his nana. He’d set up a date so that we could meet and then few days before the actual day he’d ask me if I am still available answer: always yes!!! And then again day before the actual day he’d ask me when am I going to see him? He misses me and I should tell him when I am available so that we could set up a date! Sometimes I feel like he is making me his option, well he also told me things are not right at home and he is not right financially yes but I just don’t trust him anymore like I get this feeling like he is hiding something from me, I like him and everytime I imagine my future his in it! And I wish I could just stop thinking about him but i can’t! And I am developing like serious feelings for him and I don’t want to, OK I am v. And we agreed that there will be no sex not until we are married. And he’d be like that is what I want for you as wel and I just want you to have patience n me, I love you bla bla I will make money one day and I will spoil you and what if there is no one day? I can’t talk to him about this because he’d get upset and be like: OK dn wat r u suggesting we should,do. What should I do?

  4. I have a boyfriend. He has already a child. And he said that they already talk with the mother of the baby about breaking up. And the woman agrees about it and said to him just support the child needs. So hearing that explanation from him means they are already settled. (Just a summary about the girl and my boyfriend, is that they are not married. And they did not live in the same house before and after the baby’s birth.) My boyfriend said that the reason they broke up with the girl is because he was so annoyed about the girls expressions, attitudes and he doesn’t understand the woman’s mood. So days passed by we get closer and closer every day until he declared his love for me. I said to him, if I accept you do you think we will get better, since they have a child. He said, that I shouldn’t worry because he just need to support only the children. So I accept him. After a month of being in a relationship with him, the girl already knew about me and him. Knowing that they we’re settled before I came to that man’s life, so I thought it won’t have a problem. But I was wrong, the girl send me an sms saying “ so are you happy, that you broke a family?” I never answer her coz I don’t want to argue. But every time when the girl is mad with my boyfriend, she will also text with me like “Go on with thim!” “F*** **o!” “Hope you’re happy that you broke a family!”
    I don’t understand her. And my boyfriend keeps on telling me that I should not care or listen to the girl because she just want to fight with you coz she’s mad at me. And they made it clear with each other that they are separated. We’re already on our 6th month with my boyfriend but I felt bad even I do love him so much. It’s like I’m always asking to myself if, did I broke their family? I don’t know what to do. I want to give up but it hurts. He keeps on telling me that I shouldn’t give up. But how can I? Sometimes I feel that the girl haven’t move on yet. What will I do? Could you help me or suggest anything? Please e-mail me. Your advice and suggestion is a great response to me. (tucalingi@yahoo.com)
    Thank you.

  5. My boyfriend told me that I’d never be first in his life , always second . He told me that money is always first. & everytime we get into an argument he always call me out of my name … & when we break up its like he doesn’t care to fix it , I always have to come back , maybe it’s because he’s my first boyfriend, first love & he took my virginity . I think he knows that I won’t leave because I feel helpless & unhappy without him.

    1. I’m sorry but your boyfriend is caught up in the deceitfulness of riches (Mark:4v19) and the love of money (1 Timothy 6v10) .. He will never have enough and you will NEVER overtake his misguided love for material wealth. You say you are his second love but quickly you will become third, fourth even last.
      Leave him , don’t go back, find friends to help you through the break up. Do whatever it takes but LEAVE HIM !! your worth so much more ..

  6. My guy is emotionally distant. He is not a real communicator and will shut me out and ignore me, in order to avoid any issues or problems that arise. His favorite line is he does not want to fight. I am a communicator, I don’t fight dirty and most times all I want is to express my feelings. When I’ve tried I end up feeling like a nag, because he gets defensive or apologetic, but in a dismissive way. He just doesn’t like being emotionally uncomfortable, addressing emotional issues and taking real ownership when he angers me or disappoints me. At this point I am exhausted. I feel like I am carrying the emotional baggage for both of us. He bailed on me Christmas Eve and Christmas, the entire week to New Years Eve and New Years, he just flat out refused to answer my calls, would only minimally text (which I detest). Finally after 2 unaswered calls New Years Day, I texted him (since I knew he’d get it) that I did not know what was happening, he did not have to worry about me bothering him anymore and Goodbye! I was sad, hur, distraught, confused, but resolved I would not play his game with him AGAIN! After randomly seeing each other on the freeway Sat 1/9, he called me Mon 1/11. Basically, everything was my fault, He thought I was upset about the holiday so he was giving ME space, I thought you needed space. NO…I tried repeatedly to contact and he shut me out. Then he said well I was getting ready to call you on New Years Day, but you texted Goodbye so…….Right now we are “technically” together, we’ve seen each other briefly, once, and he calls and texts me, but honestly, I just don’t really care anymore. He says I always “quit him” which I do. I see no reason to be in a situation where my needs are not being met. We were together 19 years ago and I left him because of no quality time and we were going in different directions. We reconnected in Oct 2014, he did the distance thing Nov 2014, I left him, then called him back the end of Feb 2015. Things progressed, I actively made attempts at understanding, he tried, successfully to give more of himself, until a job change in Sept 2015. I refused to nag, whine or complain, but I attempted to effectively communicate my needs, He SAID the right things, but the distancing progressed and culminated in the Holiday Ditch, as I call it. Now I worked real hard not to contact him after 1/1/2016 and had made real strides, doing me, focusing on me, work and journalling my feelings like crazy. I made it through without him and now I don’t care if he contacts me or not. He’s trying to be in touch, but I am not feeling it because I strongly suspect if I let him in any further, he will resort to that shut me out crap again and I’m not with that anymore. I truly think he is just horny, we’ve not been intimate since early 12/2015 and personally I have absolutely no interest in sleeping with him or anyone else. I do not know how to separate intimate physicality, my heart strings are always attached. I question, am I punishing him? I know he doesn’t like this. He has asked if I’m ok? If I’m mad at him? My response are just as vague and surface as his were to me. Oh you know work, family, pressure, blah blah blah. I would love to discuss this with him, in depth, but 1) I am sick and tired of repeating myself 2) when I have tried in the past he responds as if I’m scolding him and lastly, I am convinced it would just be wasted, like talking to the wind. Right now, I purposely did not pay my cell bill, nor did I ask him to, he was able to email me. I gave a curt polite excuse. I feel a twinge of remorse because it’s like…HA now you can get a taste of what I go through (yes he is freaking out) and also WELL if it’s okay for him to do it to me, why is it not okay for me to do it back? Any insight will be greatly appreciated,

    1. Wow feels like I wrote this. my boyfriend treats me the same way. I am glad you are staying strong, wish I could do the same. I think you should move on, you have come this far already. Best of luck to you.

    2. I’m going through something similar. I’m getting the same feedback from my bf. He is distant and I feel I’ve had enough. We have broken up and got back numerous times. He will shut me out for days at a time. I too am a communicator and want the fight done and over with but nope..he drags it on for days. This time I feel I have nothing left to give. I can not pit any more into this relationship that I am getting nothing out of. Not sure how mine will end up…as for you I would consider no contact. You need to move on and that’s the only way. Don’t feel guilty. He’s not meeting your needs..stay strong and move on!

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Some time has passed since you asked for help knowing if you should give up on your relationship. What did you decide, and how has your relationship changed?

  8. Hi
    I am really in need of some advice and help. I have been married for 20 years and we have one 9 year old daughter whom we both adore. The problems we have stem from the fact that I was only 18 when we married and came out of an extremely abusive childhood. I have overcome that childhood, and in the process became a different person than I was when he married me. In the beginning I needed someone to guide me and help me in many ways. Now, I need a partner who stands beside me as an equal. My husband is not that person. He has no respect for me whatsoever. He always tells me every argument we have is my fault. I always tell him it takes two to argue and his favorite reply is “It only takes one”. Even in instances where he was clearly in the wrong, he gets so angry at my reaction to his mistake that all blame falls on me. I truly feel we are incompatible now.
    The most heartbreaking thing I am going through now is from our recent argument. He told me he is no longer in love with me. I really don’t believe he meant that, as he is known for saying hateful things in the heat of the moment. But I truly don’t care whether he meant it or not. I find it appalling that he could actually look me in the face and let those words even come out of his mouth.
    I guess I don’t know what I should do. It is a scary thought to consider going out on your own for the very first time at the age of 39. I know I could do it, but I am also afraid of making the wrong decision. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Ok i never Thought ill resort to sharing my feelings and issues with total strangers online but reading some of the posts made me feel that not only will this take off things my mind and heart but also help in getting other peoples perspective on my life

    So i got married 8 months back to a guy who was my best friend for 5 years …. 2 years down our friendship he asked me out but i wasnt ready and i told him that i cherished what i had and would not want to ruin it .

    I wasnt ready to get married cuz i was so over men due to my past bad relationships and also cuz i had grown to love my single life …. I was independant . Strong , i had a job i loved and friends i loved to be wiTh . I stopped feeling the need to be someone cuz i was happy and dint feel lonely .

    However as i grew older the pressure from my family on getting married increased. I kept fighthing it till one day i got emotionally blackmailed by my dad into considering marriage . I wanted to take away his stress n worries and see my married n settled . I still did not think i was ready but i wanted to make my family happy. Once i decided to get married , i thought that if i had to spend my life with someone why not get married to my best friend who was crazy about me .

    I never felt attracted to him that way but i loved him as a friend . I loved being with him . I was scared a bit that what if i dont develop romantic feelings but i thought maybe with time i will .

    And so we got married . And now i feel that i should not have pushed myself as i still dont feel ready .
    I havent been able to develop any feelings more than a friend for him . We have a great time together but sex us a duty for me . He doesnt turn me on and i only do it to make him happy .
    Not only that … I feel weak , vulnerable and sad now cuz i think i was happier bfr .

    I had to give up the job i loved for him as get got transferred to a new city. I gave up my friends and living in a city i loved . He never forced me to but i did it for him and for our marriage cuz i wanted it to work . But now i feel miserable on giving it all up and i cant blame him

    He is a great guy . Really cares for me and tries to keep me happy . But i feel like iv lost myself as a person in all of this . I liked who i was and do not like who i have become . I think of the strong , independant person i was and i wish i hadnt gotten married

    Whenever we fight now , it ends up getting nasty and i end up saying i dont want to do it anymore . Its almost like m looking for a chance to get out . N then i tell myself that i shouldnt do it and try to work it out . Last time we fought he told me that if i talk about ending it again he will cuz he has had enuff of listening to it . I cant blame him.
    In all of this i think its all my fault that i agreed to get married when i wasnt ready . And what saddens is that as i feared m gonna loose my best friend if it doesnt end well

    I dunno what to do . I want it to work cuz if it ends my parents will be devasted. But deep inside i feel that something is missing . Plz help and tell me what to do

    1. Dear NN,

      I, too, feel like I got married without being ready. In my case I married my girlfriend aven though I wasn’t whoelhearted with the idea of marrying the same sex. I regret it. I regretted it since day one of the marriage, and looking back I don’t understand how I managed to go through with it. It’s been two and a half years and things havn’t gotten better. I can’t count how many times I wanted out and then I told myself I’ll give it another try. There have been days at a time where I felt good about our marriage, but most of the time I’m unhappy nad don’t want to be in it. They say that in a marriage every day you need to choose to be in the marriage. If most days you wouldn’t choose to be in the marriage- you ‘wouldn’t do it again’, I think you know your answer. Some things don’t get better. Magic isn’t going to happen. If you’re unhappy most of the time- then leave.

  10. Hi,

    I have been married for only 9 months and after 3 months of marrage I found out my Husband had been having sexual contact with another women (text, picture messaging and emails as well as calls) although he finally admitted it he still says he did not meet her but she told me he did and said why would she lie as she doesn’t gain anything out of it. As we had only been married a short time we decided to stay together and work at our marriage. He promissed that he would never do it again. But 4 months later i found out that he was contacting a different women about her sexual interests and he was telling her what he wants to do to her and vica versa. After asking him to leave and him refusin and his parents talking me around we are still together, but i feel so trapped, alone and not loved.

    I have three children of my own and my husband has two children who visit fortnightly, I don’t work but am trying to get a job that isn’t easy as I have no family to look after my youngest while i work.

    I really don’t know if I should stay and put up with the situation as I really feel that he won’t change as he told me that he was the same with his childrens mum. Also when I mentioned about his contact with the two other women I said that there was probably many more over the 4 years we have been together, I just have not found out about them, and my husbands only response was that he isn’t like it now.

    I have asked i we could go to conceling or a doctor but all he has said is no it is between us to sort out,even when i have told him i don’t feel that we can on our own.

    Some advise please

  11. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience in your relationship. Long distance relationships are particularly difficult, because so much time can pass between in-person visits. Skype, text, emails, Facebook aren’t the same – especially when you have a few relationship issues to iron out.

    May you know in your heart what the right thing to do is. May you see you and your boyfriend as you are, and may you get a clear idea if it’s better to give up on your relationship or try to make it work. Sometimes it is healthier to give up on a relationship — and it’s always healthy to try to identify if anything in you is holding you back from being happy with a partner.

    I pray for strength and wisdom, peace and joy. May you be brave enough to see what you need to do, and strong enough to follow through until the end. I pray for healing and faith in the future, and for confidence that you will meet the man who is right for you. Until then, may you grow and be happy as your own woman. Amen.


  12. Hi. My name is trisha and i had been with a great guy for 2 years and 9 months.
    We were in a Long Distance Relationship.
    We loved each other deeply.
    He encourages me to grab every opportunity that came my way. He lets me grow. And I did te same…
    The only thing we usually had a problem with is my negativity and when I do guilt trips when he goes out with his friends. I allow him to go out but then i do the guilt trip right after saying yes. Now… He broke up with me right after our two years and 9months anniversary. He got tired. He gave up on us. I said Goodbye but he said he’s still there and it’s not goodbye for him. He wants me to leave him alone in silence and at peace but he said he’s still open for anything. I regret what I did… I still love him dearly.

  13. Hello,
    I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for about 8 months now. Only currently, I’m hurt and lost over what to do after I’ve been given a last chance in the relationship. I still love him so much, but I’m scared I’ll mess up again. He has been such an amazing person to me, much more than anyone I’ve ever talked to. He has been there for me. He’s comforted me when I was at my most vulnerable, left me sweet messages on my phone, made time for me when he was busy, he even wrote me a song and sent it as an mp3. Which, he sang and played piano on. As well as say I love you every time we talked. But besides, those sweet moments, there were bad ones. Mainly myself for being out of control with my emotions (Or being neurotic)I had been the one to cause problems and question his identity or to find out whether he was really real or not from the start of the relationship. He would answer calmly and would give me a choice on whether I wanted to leave or not. But, he always assured that he loved me. So after I put him through all that, I was surprised that someone really good was out there and put up with my behavior. I honestly felt very secure with him. However, very recently, I had ran into a photo exactly as the one he sent me as a present on DeviantArt. I questioned him again on whether the photo he had sent me was really him or not and he got so upset. I got caught off guard. I immediately felt guilty after I came back to my senses. I had promised that I wasn’t going to do this again, but I ended up breaking it instead.. Now, I’m torn as to what to do now with my last chance.

  14. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing what your boyfriend has been doing in your relationship. I think “giving up” on your relationship is the strongest, healthiest choice you can make. Letting him go means you’re being strong and standing up for yourself.

    You deserve better. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, that you find strength and courage to move forward into a brave new life.


  15. Hello, My boyfriend and I been together now for 8months. Our relationship was amazing except everytime we fight. First couple of months he saw some guys I dated on my facebook and he just got mad about it. He said I lied when I said I had only 4 boyfriends and the truth is I had more. To be honest these people I went out only for dinner and stuff yes I admit I kissed one or two of them but they never been my bf and I never talk to them in ages eventhough they are in my facebook some of them I totally forgot that they were there. Anyways after that things just get bad everytime we fight he always use my past against me like I am a liar and all that and I didnt do anything I just cried because I said to myself I was wrong I made a mistake of not telling him.

    6months forward we are on a vacation and he needs to msg work and his phone wasnt working so he had to use my phone. Next day when I checked my facebook I saw msgs I check them and i didnt know that it was his fb. I saw a msg from a lady that he said a good friend. Apparently this girl was his ex and i saw all his msgs to her. Its fine for me that was past but the thing I couldnt take is that he was begging her to take him back and he said he love her and hes willing to leave me for her. When i found out he wasnt even feel sorry he was trying to be aggressive and said like things not goin well with us past few months all my lies and all thats why he did that. Stupid of me I forgave him.

    The next couple of weeks of that I was cleaning and saw his old phone so curious I looked at it. What i found out tear me apart he was flirting with his staff at work and even invited the girl to come to our place. I leave for couple of days for work sometimes and so he said to the girl oh my gf is leaving.. I am not stupid its clear that they are flirting with each other. When I confronted him he denied it never admitted anything.

    And then recently this is where my heart gave up. I lose my trust with him and i had a feeling that he still doin something behind my back so while he was sleeping i check his phone. My world stopped i found msgs of him talking naughty to strangers exchanging dirty pictures and even telling the stranger that hes goin to bed and have sex with his gf and the most shocking part he sent a sexy pic of me. I felt disrespected as a woman and a person. I confronted him and he kept on crying and said he went for therapy.

    After all that incident I am still here. I dont know why I am still here I am just plain stupid I guess. He gets irritated at me sometimes and try to talk about my past what I did. I know hes trying to turn the tables around. I am happy when we were not fighting he is a nice caring person but all the fights.. When he gets mad he says harsh things to me, break things and throw things. I dont know what to do anymore. My heart is tired.. I am giving up.

  16. Dear aynn,

    I can’t tell you if you should give up on your relationship, but it sure sounds like you’re not happy with your boyfriend! You don’t feel loved, cherished, safe, or secure. You feel like the relationship problems are your fault.

    Are you being yourself in this relationship? Are you happy with this man? Can you see yourself married to him — exactly the way he is now? Do you want to be with him if he never changes or tries to improve the relationship? Are you willing to be in a relationship with a man who is not willing to try to make things work, or try to make you happy?

    If you answer those questions honestly, you’ll know if it’s better to give up on your relationship, or try to make it work. What do you think?


  17. Hi.i have a terrible problem.me and my boy had a big fight couple weeks ago and i decide to fix the relationship because i think its my fault.i asked him did he loves me and he said yes.so i just go on with my plans.but he didnt work up with me.he acts like a stranger.i have to follow his mood.whenever he feels like hating me,he hates me so much.he also didnt look at me.i felt so useless.but when i asked him did he want to break up,he deny.btw he used to like my bff and just now my bff were trying some clothes and i felt so insecure when he looks at her.when i try to chat with him,he treat me like rubbish.should i give up?

  18. Dear Nate,

    It sounds like your boyfriend is using you for money and security, but he doesn’t want to have a relationship with you. He doesn’t love you, and doesn’t want to connect with you in a real, intimate, committed way.

    You love your boyfriend….but do you love yourself enough to let him go? Do you trust yourself and the Universe enough to bring you a man who loves and respects you?

  19. Ok in a nutshell. I am gay and met this guy in the NYC. I am a professional made a lot of money and basically we became very close. I told him the first night we met who I was and what I wanted and we agreed not to make a one night stand. He did not really swing that way but we did stuff. he shared naked pic of himself. I moved form the city and ended up sending him money every week and we carried on for 7 years on the phone . Last week he tells me he is not moving with me and has a girl and oh by the way he has a problem telling me the truth because he did not want to hurt my feelings. When I suspected something was up for weeks I asked him tried to get him to tell me he said there was no problem. In one explosive night I send him a text showing him that I believe he was lying and he calls me hanging up on me and mad because the girl saw the email. He said he wanted to end the relationship then. Later in the week he wanted to continue the connection if I still sent the money and stopped texting him. Devasted, I am still sending him money but I love him and I don’t want to give up. I need help

  20. Dear Bill,

    I’m sorry to hear about your marriage, and I thank you for sharing your experience here. It sounds like you’re yearning for a healthy, strong, happy relationship with your wife. Yet, no matter what you do, you can’t change your marriage. As you said, you can’t make your wife love you.

    I don’t have any answers for you, I’m afraid. I’m not sure anyone knows how to recreate a love that never existed in the first place.

    One thing that comes to my mind is acceptance. If it were me, I’d try to accept my life and relationship for what it is. When I fight against something, it becomes bigger and heavier. But when I accept it, it becomes a bit lighter and easier to bear.

    Instead of trying to fix your marriage or get your wife to love you, maybe you could consider just accepting that this isn’t the marriage you want. This isn’t the relationship you want, and there is nothing you can do to change it.

    I don’t know if this will make any difference at all, but I know there’s something about acceptance that changes everything. I encourage you to read books by Byron Katie, and think about changing how you think about your marriage.

    I hope this helps a little, and welcome you back anytime to share your thoughts.


  21. I feel I am in a unique situation, but maybe not…

    I’m a 43 year old man, married to my highschool sweetheart for nearly 22 years. We’ve been together for 25 counting the years we dated. About 5 years (and 2 kids) into the marriage, my wife confessed to me that she she fell in love with another man, and in falling in love with him, realized she never loved me in the manner that a wife should love her husband. She was referring to that physical desire kind of love. We were good friends, but that’s about all she saw me as.

    After a few months of being separated, and headed towards divorce, she asked for reconcilliation and an opportunity to work on finding the love that was missing. I was elated, as not only did I not want to see our family break up, I loved and missed her more than I thought possible.

    The next few years saw 2 more children born, bringing us to 4. Things were going good, and I thought past was behind us, and that she had found the missing love for me that was not there for her early in the marriage. Not to toot my own horn here, but I did everything possible to be the best husband, friend, and lover I could be. I knew the tremendous hurt of almost losing her, and I was so grateful for a second chance.

    About a year ago now (2012), things suddenly got “strange” between us. I confronted her one evening about what was wrong, and she confessed that dispite trying desparately to find the love for me she wanted, it had never happened, and she just couldn’t go on pretending any longer. She didn’t want to hurt me because she genuinely cares for me, and she didn’t know how to tell me.

    So, a year later, we basically “co-habitate” and have remained together trying to determine what the future holds. Our youngest two kids are middle school age, and neither of us wants to put them through the pain of a breakup. (The oldest 2 are in their early 20’s now).

    I still love her as much as I did the day I married her. I don’t want to lose her, but I know I can’t make her love me, and I don’t want either of us to become miserable (more than we are) just “existing” until the youngest graduates.

    I so much want to love and be equally loved back. I also want her to find the love she’s desired for so long – I just can’t imagine not loving my spouse, and I know she wants to feel it too. As far as counciling goes…been there, done that. No one we’ve talked to can give us any help as to how to “rekindle” a love that was never there to begin with.

    Just not sure what the next move should be here.

  22. Dear Amy,

    I don’t think you’re being duped if you give your boyfriend another chance and he doesn’t come through. He’s not deliberately trying to trick you (or is he? If so, that’s a different story!).

    It sounds like your boyfriend has other, more important, priorities in his life. He likes or even loves you, but he doesn’t put you first.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t expect him to change. I can’t tell you if you should give up on your relationship — but if you stay, I think you need to accept him the way he is right now. I wouldn’t have any expectations that he shows up when he says he will.

    Also, I think it’s especially hurtful when you tell him that something is important to you, and he doesn’t show up. It’s embarrassing to be in a relationship with someone so uncaring, unthoughtful, and rude! Yet women do it all the time.

    Stay true to you,

  23. I’ve been seeing guy on and off for about a year. The first 6 months were good and bad. He would not follow thru on going out with me, didn’t show up to my bday when he said he would etc. But when we were together it was great, i could see myself being with this person. But eventually by Dec i was fed up and he also told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship. I decided to move on. We saw each other in a different city, it was not a planned, so of course i thought it was fate. But when we were back things got worse. We barely spoke for about 3 months until i finally decided to ignore him. And of course he came back telling me that he wanted to be more serious about me etc. We’ve been dating again for about 3 months, and everything has been going great. I’ve really noticed a change in him in the way he’s towards me. So i asked him to finally meet my friends and told him that this was important to me. So he said he was coming, and of course never showed up. He was really sorry he admitted that he messed up etc that he was ready to take it to the next level. I feel like i’ve given him so many chances and yet he wants another one. I want to give me another chance but I just don’t want to be duped again. Help!

  24. Dear Torn,

    I think you should follow your gut! Trust what your brain, heart, and soul is telling you. You’ll regret it if you ignore your instincts. I don’t even think this is about your relationship with your boyfriend — it’s about your relationship with YOURSELF!

    Put yourself first, and listen to your own wisdom and truth. Do what you’d tell your younger self to do, or your little sister. Be strong, smart, and savvy.

    I’m on your team! Are you?

  25. Never done this before, but here goes nothing!

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 8 years. Maybe its the 8 year mark, but I’ve been feeling like this relationship is going down the toilet. Last year, I had a gut feeling he was up to something when he went to work. Even though I shouldn’t have, I checked his history on his computer. I couldn’t believe it, my intuition was right. He made a fake email account emailing these women on Craigslist asking for a “Bed and Breakfast”. I calmly called and talked to him. He admitted to it and I left him. For years, he would criticize cheaters (he was cheated on from past relationships) and so when I read what I saw, it killed me. Even though, all he did was email them sexual things and nothing physical, the thought of what if i didn’t catch him made me breakdown. Next day, he comes to visit me at work with a promise ring. I know right? At that time, 7 years and you screwed up and now you want to give me a ring? I hate to admit it, but I took him back that same day.

    Long story short, I guess I haven’t gotten over it. I fear that he’s just being careful with what he’s doing. He even lets me check his stuff – openly with him offering me his phone.. etc.

    He also just recently spilled his heart to me that he wants to marry me. He wants to do better to make us work. The only thing that worries me is that I don’t think I’m ready for that. I love him with all my heart and I’ll be right by his side, but that same gut feeling I had in the past, is telling me to throw in the towel.

    Even though we talked about our issues in our relationship time and time again.. it just feels harder to stay. And not to sound whiny, but there’s also other issues we have such as him smoking (promised to quit, never did.. kept it a secret).

    What do I do? The positive, the negative, anything. I don’t want to suck both our love lives dry ):

  26. I wish I could wave my magic wand and give you all the best advice on your marriage and life, but I can’t. I can’t keep up with the comments! Plus, I don’t know your situations well enough to give you informed, wise advice.

    But I do have a question for you: If you could wake up tomorrow with a totally different life, what would it look like? Who would you be with, what would you be doing, and where would you live?

  27. Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for being here!

    It sounds like you and your partner have gone through a lot of changes lately, which is affecting how you relate to each other. Like you said, this is part of the good and bad stress that comes with having a new baby in your life. She’s a blessing, but she has also changed your life, hasn’t she?

    I wrote this for you:

    How to Know if Your Relationship is Ending

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.


  28. My boyfriend and I had been together for 2 years and broke up with me a couple weeks before our 2nd anniversary. The first half of our relationship was better than amazing, we both knew we were soul mates and we have a connection that we’ve never felt for any other past exs.as we got comfortable, of course it was easier for us to annoy or hit heads but he tends to blow things out of porportion and wants to break up over small fights by blowing them up into big fights. We have had our tough times but we have always been able to work it out and stick theough it. Just recently we bickered and he wanted to break up so we did, he told me I was too emotional and mean to others and that he wasn’t in the relationship 100% and wasn’t happy and that we fight too much and bicker a lot but we had not had a fight before the night he blew up a small bicker to make it into a fight. I was blown away because I thought everything was going great and we were doing so good so I was really surprised when he said all these things. He admitted to not being good at communication and expressing himself. He also said that he hates relationships and would never get into another after me. I love him so much that I would have been able to work through it with him so that we could work because we always have. I have tried and tried to show him what a mistake he’s making but he still insists that he isn’t making a wrong decision. I don’t want to seem like I have no dignity but my gut and mind and heart all tell me that this isn’t where it ends. I really am stuck.

  29. i have been with my boyfriend for 9 months, he never told me when we met that he lived with an ex, he was very clever at diverting the conversation if i asked to vist (he lives 60miles away) curiousity got the better of me and i found on the internet he shares a house with a girl and then he came clean. we decided to work through it but i cant deal with the fact he lives with her any longer, i also just discovered he went to a wedding of a friend and although he told me there was no plus one invite i found a picture on the internet of him and her there together. he has said he will give everything up and move in with me to show its me he wants to be with – what do i do?

  30. I’ve been with my partner for 6 years now I’m 22 and he is 25 we have a beautiful little girl who is 15months and all our relationship we have had little fights here and there. My partner is very dominante, he was just raised that way and I’m very free willed and inderpendant but we are great friends. Though lately after having our daughter it seems like every little disagreement my partner blames me for starting the fight and says I do everything wrong and that I need to change and what not. It’s just seems it goes from a little disagreement to breaking up. I’m worried that my partner doesn’t want to be here. We’ve had issues before and I know having a baby adds a lot of pressure but how is it possible to get on do great so days and others have him just hate me. I have no idea what the best thing to do is. I love him but am I just holding onto our relationship even though its ending? Help! Thanks

  31. I don’t know weather to give up on this guy or stick it out. We haven’t been together long but so far it had been great, he seemed to really be into me. I knew he was going through a lot of issues with getting laid off and other finacial issues, I’ve told him from the beginning that I’d stick with him through his hard time. We just had a big fight for three days about a scare with an sti, it was just an over reaction on his part, it was just a rash. I know he was scared but he ignored me for teo days instead of communicating with me. He says were fine now but it feels like I’m the only one putting in any effort. We haven’t seen eachother ksince the fight a couple days ago so we havent gotten a chance to talk it out. I know he’s extremely busy and its hard to get down to see him (he lives 30 away) but it makes me sad that he doesn’t act the same as before. Do I move on or wait it out? I try to talk to him but he just gets frustrated and i feel like I’m nagging, how do i make a choice?

  32. Dear Cori,

    Thank you for sharing your struggles here – I am sorry for what you are going through.

    Have you considered a trial separation? Maybe go stay with your parents for a couple of months, and give your partner a chance to see what life is like without you and your son. Sometimes people need a scare like that to help them come to their senses. Your partner is letting his gambling take over his life, and is not taking the loss of you seriously. That is just what I think, of course…you are the expert on your relationship and life!

    What do you think of this?


  33. Here is my issue. My partner of 5 years has become addicted to gambling and has been doing it for the last year. We have a 4 year old son together. At first, I did not say much about the gambling until it started to affect the family finances. Since August of 2012, I decided I had had enough of him going to the casino and blowing his entire check. It leaves me, and my minimum wage earning job to attempt to pick up the slack, which I cannot. We are behind on rent and have bills piling up, yet he continues to spend mostly every penny he earns at the casino, with little regard to the little one and me. I have tried to appeal to all of his sensibilities. I have told him how his son should have first priority. I have told him that if he truly wants to overcome this, he will need to go to GamAnon. Nothing is getting through to him and it is making me so stressed and miserable that I just want to leave.. but I have no where to go. My parents live 8hours away. Ive got no one to depend on close by. The sad thing is, I do love him. I have been trying to help him. But I am at my wits end and I am struggling with if it is time to take our boy and get away from this situation before he drags us down with him. My heart hurts. He has been lying to me too about where he is and what he does. He has taken to skipping work to gamble. Today, I had to walk the mile to work with my son because he did not come home when he was supposed to so I could take the car to work. Try walking a mile in February, in Wisconsin, on Valentines day, with a four year old when you are already late for work. Part of me wants to pack a bag, leaving all I own behind, and catch a bus to my parents with my boy. Part of me wishes my man would come to his senses and see what he is doing to us. Something has got to give soon. Before I break.

  34. Dear Alice,

    It sounds like your boyfriend is an introvert and you’re an extrovert. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up on your relationship and break up with him.

    Here’s an article for couples who have different personality traits – it may help you decide if you should try to make your relationship work, or give up:


    Let me know what you think!


  35. I’ve been in a relationship for 2 years with a guy a little younger than me,I’m 28, he’s 26 (but not just age – I have had more relationships) so I have always excused our relationship as a slow burner because of this. I have kept it going thinking eventually things will be how I want as our relationship grows. I have probably got really high expectations so because he gives me so much love and obviously does love me I keep waiting and trying. I know he has an idea of what I want because I have told him. I just want a healthy relationship where we do things together and part of each other’s lives but I have hardly met his family and he is not overly keen to meet mine however I don’t push it. we only really go out together if it’s a special occasion as he is happier being indoors watching football, sleeping and smoking. I’m bored doing this. I’ve told him this but there is always an excuse and if we do go out it seems like a big deal for him. I just want to have fun with my partner, sometimes do nothing and sometimes be spontaneous. I know there are lots of reasons to not be together but I feel like he needs more time and I keep thinking eventually we will meet in the middle. I know he cares for me, loves me and I completely trust him. he has good intentions but never really gets its. is love enough? should I really end it with a guy who loves me so much?? I have always had things my way in the past and not been happy so does this mean he is good for me as I don’t get it all my way? breaking up would be so sad but surely I’d get over it…?

  36. Dear Jenny,

    I don’t know why you’re holding on to this man, but I do know you’re not alone! So many women stay in bad or unhealthy relationships, because it’s easier to stay with in the hell you know than leave and perhaps not find someone to love you again.

    Why do you think you’re staying in this relationship? Why are you so reluctant to give up on it?

  37. Dear Sarah,

    I’m sorry I missed your comment. What did you decide – did you give up on your relationship, or are you trying to make it work?

  38. First of all, I know how alot of people are very critical with grammar and punction so I am telling you know that English is not my first language so please bare with me. My life started to go in a roller coater ride since last year, I agreed to give my husband the space that he asked for, although I fought him so hard to not separate from me, I knew it had to be done. I wasn’t the perfect wife, I had my flaws. And I’d be a hypocrite if I said I were. Anyways, I had this nasty feeling in my gut that he was hiding something from me, like something BAD. At that time I would use his celfone ( I didn’t have one at that time) and he didn’t mine me using it or going thru it I mean there was nothing to hide. But then he got a txt message late at night from unsaved number. Saying if I was still home? So i replied ” This is his wife, I will let him know you text him” I should’ve told that person off but I wasn’t sure if it was his buddy & I didn’t want to make another “mistake” because during those times I was always in the wrong and seems to me like I was always the bad guy. So I let that one slide. Weeks came by, he was still acting strange and I am still trying to win him over by giving him pretty much everything he wants, nothing was working. So I gave In and told him ok I’ll give u your space. I was gone for a month but still kept in contact with him ( we didn’t end things just took a breather) & I found out that he indeed started a full blown affair with a woman who looked like a man and left her and started another emotional affair with another woman. While I was thinking the whole time this was all my fault. I should forgive him. I kept thinking to myself why would this women allow this man who have a family do all that? When all those time all we talked about was being back together. But I do it know maybe I am dumb and in love. This is still going on until today, and now he chose her. And I am lost. All our dreams and plans for our family just vanish. And soon I will have to leave our home, and will have to raise our child on my own. I don’t know what to do, I know what he did, but why am I still trying to fight? Why am I allowing myself to be in this stituation. Why am I holding onto his promises? Sometimes I just want to wake up and say this was all just a bad dream. But I know it isn’t. And it’s so unfair that they both get to live the life that we had, and I have to life with this pain of losing the love of my life

  39. I was with my boyfriend for just over two years. Our relationship had many ups and downs. One of the major problems was his connection with one of my closest friends. During the early stages of our relationship, my boyfriend and my best friend became very close. They would talk on the phone constantly. He would stop mid-sentence with me to reply to her texts.

    I felt very insecure, but he just said I was being petty when I confronted him about it. They started visiting each other behind my back. The lies just kept pilling on. They both made seem like it was my fault that they were lying to me about it, they said it was because they wanted to avoid my “reactions”. They both became very secretive, putting locks on their phones and my boyfriend changed his passwords for everything (even though I had never looked through anything before).

    They made me miserable for over a year and a half. I felt rejected and unwanted because not only was my boyfriend paying more attention to her, but neither of them cared that they were hurting me. It got to the point where they were saying they loved each other, and had even admitted to me that they had feelings for each other. I was devastated, but I believed my boyfriend when he said he would never act on it. I gave them so many chances because they were both in really bad places mentally. My boyfriend told me that he was just confused when he thought he had feelings for her, and that it didn’t last very long. Eventually, they backed away from each other and soon there was no contact between the two of them at all.

    A few months ago I found a document of messages between my boyfriend and my friend. They were very sexual. When I confronted my boyfriend about it, he initially tried to lie, but eventually admitted that he had been cheating on me with her. I later found out that it was happening for about 6 months, but they had cut it off about 3 months before I found out.

    I felt so betrayed, how could two of the most important people in my life do that to me? How could a friend do that to someone who was always there for them? I also felt so stupid, the obvious signs were there – I just didn’t believe either of them were capable of doing such a thing. More than anything, I had just wanted to trust them.

    It’s been 4 months now, and I haven’t really heard from my friend, I suppose she doesn’t really care. However, my now-ex has shown multiple signs of remorse. He is so dedicated to changing and doing anything it takes for us to be together again. He is seeking therapy to understand why he did it, and to work on his emotional problems. I’ve told him I don’t know if I could ever trust or forgive him again. But he says he’s willing to wait for me.

    I’m so hurt. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick to the core. I feel so much pain every day, because of them. And now he wants me back.. I still love him, but I’m not in love with him. Everything has changed, I have changed. A part of me doesn’t want to lose him, but the other part wants to run for the hills.

    What should I do?

  40. Dear Broken,

    What a survivor you are! I’m so sorry to hear about your loss – I can’t imagine how difficult that was for you. It’s scary enough to be in a bad car accident, but to lose so many loved ones is terrible. My heart breaks for you, and my prayers are with you.

    I wrote this for you:

    Am I Sick for Staying With a Man Who Keeps Cheating on Me?

    I don’t know if it’s better to give up on your relationship or try to make it work. It’s so complicated, especially when you have children you want to protect! And, you love your fiance – even if he is having affairs. I know how difficult it is to walk away from love (even if it’s unhealthy).

    Please read what I wrote for you, and let me know how you’re doing. I can’t tell you what you should do, but I’m here to listen!


  41. ive been with my fiance for a little over three years now with one breakup that lasted about 10 months. about 21 months ago i was in a tragic car accident and lost my 3 year old son, my mom, my dad, and my sister who was also my best friend. we somehow reconnected after that and have been together ever since. he said he’d be there to help me through my pain and be there for my daughters(from a previous relatioship)for the most part he has been. but does it really count if hes been continously cheating? he lies about every and anything possible. its like when hes not home he leads a secret life. four months ago i gave birth to our daughter and not that i thought it would fix us but i thought and prayed that things would get better. of course he says he loves me and would do anything for our family but his actions are clearly the opposite. i dont know what to do anymore, im so insecure because of the accident i cant walk much with my broken hip and pelvic bone and now 2 metal plates. i wanna walk away but i cant, i dont know how. i dont want my daughters to be without him. and i must confess i love him more than i ever have but when i look at him, i dont see the person i fell in love with, i see a stranger!!! he only admits to one affair but with everything ive found its clearly much more. i dont know whats next for us. i cant take much more of anything. im broken and lost and feel so lonely. i need help. he was suppose to help not make me wish i had died along with my family.but im so confused, i still want his touch, his kisses, by arms around me. i know i must be sick in the head to still want it but i do. someone please respond.

  42. What if ur husband is not cheating on u (that u know of)?? bUT U JUST dont feel the love of effection anymore?? I just feel like a single woman(just without sex).

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