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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Think I need to break up

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Author Topic: Think I need to break up
Halfy
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Alright so, here's the thing.

Me and my girlfriend have been dating for about a year and a half now. There's so many things I love about her but I think we need to end our relationship.

When we first stared dating she was very self-sufficient. She loved me but she didn't absolutely depend on me for a lot of things. Recently though she's become very, very needy. In the past six months, I don't think I've been able to go a friend's house without her calling and needing me to talk to her for an hour or so. She's very unstable recently emotionally, and in general the quality of the relationship has been deteriorating.

On top of the above issue, there's also been trust issues. She's broken up with me about 20 or so times now(we're one of those couples that breaks up and gets back together a lot), and one of the recent times lasted around a week or so(normally they are a day at max). In this time I began speaking to another girl, not necessarily for sexual interest(it never progressed beyond that) - I'm not even sure why I spoke to her as I honestly have no sexual interest in her. In any case, my girlfriend found out and was very hurt. We've had trust issues before this since she is just not very trusting by nature, but with this now I don't honestly believe she is ever going to fully trust me again.

There's so many things I love about her, but even when she's doing everything perfect, I find myself unsatisfied in the relationship. I recently began college and I would like to get out and have a social life, which is incredibly difficult with her being as needy as she is. Maybe I'm being petty, but I find it really hard to stay in this relationship.

To complicate things even further, she's attempted suicide in the past, and the last time we broke up she called me and said [sic] "Hey this is probably a really f*cked up question and will probably scar you for life, but is there really any reason for me to live?". I don't believe though that she said this to try and be manipulative. As I said, she's the one who usually breaks us up. I've only suggested we break up once.

She's very dependent on me and I won't want to just drop her with no one to lean on. I don't want her to hurt herself. I just want to know if there's a way to end this relationship with as little complications as possible.

She's staying over at my place this coming Tuesday night because her mother will be out of town. I don't want to force her to stay at home alone(and consequently miss her therapy session) so I was thinking I want to at least wait until then.

Am I being petty for wanting to end this? She loves me and is trying really hard to make me happy. I just don't think we're compatible, and our incompatibilities are finally catching up to us.

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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JamsessionVT
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You're not being petty. This is a pretty tough situation, because while you want to do what's right for you, you care enough for her that you don't want her to let herself go, either.

What you should understand is that you CANNOT be her guardian, supporter, whatever you want to call it, all the time. You cannot always be that person who is there with a shoulder to lean on. At some point, she will have to stand on her own two feet. It's mentally and physically exhausting for you to try and support her all the time, leaving no time to take care of yourself.

I am glad to hear that you don't want to just drop her. Have you thought about talking to her mother about this? Is she someone you could go to? What about your own parents?

It sounds like she's seeing a therapist or counselor already, which is good. I think you now need to get someone else in on this to help take the burden off your shoulders.

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Abbie
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Halfy
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What am I supposed to do though as far as not being her only support? I don't want to just start ignoring her and forcing her to take care of herself.

Her mother is not a fantastic motherly figure, which is most of the reason she's actually in therapy as it is. She does have friends but I'm not sure exactly how they would react to this. I can't imagine my own parents would be very helpful but I might ask my mom.

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Nailo
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If she has friends, and they really are friends (not the fair weather kind), they should be able to handle at least some of the weight. I've had a lot of psychological issues in the past, and I have a wonderful boyfriend who supports me, but I know that if I can't get a hold of him, I can always call my friends. I eventually tell him everything anyway, but by then it's diluted and he doesn't have to see the whole panic episode. I think you should speak to her and tell her that you do love her, and you do want to be there for her, but that she needs to understand that you are a separate person who is entitled to having friends and going out with them peacefully; remind her that there are other people who love her, other people she can lean on if she needs to (including her therapist). Maybe none of them compares to you, but try to reassure her that her support network is wider than just one person. Maybe she'll do what I do and tell you anyway, but after she's calmed down. I find it works for me, at least. Of course you don't have to ignore her and force her to take care of yourself. Maybe, when she shows self-sufficiency or she makes progress with her therapy in some way, point it out, give her encouragement to show her she's doing a good job. Hopefully, she'll be proud enough of herself that she can learn to stand on her own feet consistently. Encouragement is extremely important, especially considering her mother isn't that great.

From this comment, it may sound like I feel like you need to stay together. I say it's your call- if you really feel like you can't take it anymore because your life is being hindered, then it's your choice if you want to end the relationship. However, I think that my advice can still apply if you're friends. I wish you the best of luck [Smile]

P.S.: gee... I must be one of the 5 (?) people who don't understand binary! Is it some physics thing? My boyfriend is a huge physics geek, and when he talks about it I just smile and nod [Big Grin] because I don't get a thing.

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"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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Halfy
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I guess I'll have to talk to her friends about this. I might be able to email her therapist but I don't know exactly if that's considered rude of not(asking for advice when I myself am not seeing her for therapy).

I would like to stay together, but the feelings I had before just aren't there anymore. My love for her is more platonic now, like a sister. And the fact that she'll never be able to trust me again isn't helping either.

/ Binary is a number system. Whereas the decimal system we all learn in school is based on 10 digits(0 through 9), binary is based on 2 digits(0 and 1). Binary is the way information is stored on a computer. In my quote, 10 in binary is 2 in decimal [Smile]

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Halfy
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I think to sum it up, I've fallen out of love.

She actually asked me today to just let her know if I ever fell out of love or fell in love with anyone else or anything. I know that would be really hard on her though. I decided to not tell her just yet.

She's staying over tonight. When do you think would be a good time to tell her all this? Tonight while she's here, tomorrow morning before school, or sometime after school?

I'm thinking sometime after school tomorrow.

Also, do you think it would be a good idea to talk to her friends first? Maybe that way they can be sure that they're ready to support her?

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Nailo
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(Oh... no wonder, it sounded like something my boyfriend would talk about. He's a programmer ^^ [Wink] .

Are you also friends with her friends? If so, I think that you should definitely talk to them. I guess I'm a bit late. I wouldn't have talked to her on that night, because then you have to still see her the rest of the night and the next day. I don't think it'd be rude to talk to her therapist. That's what therapists are for.

On the record, I'd like to say that I don't think you should feel bad about having talked to that other girl while you weren't together with your girlfriend. I mean, you just talked, and you said you didn't care about her sexually. You are definitely allowed to have friends of both sexes. I think your girlfriend needs to understand that too.

...Is she still your girlfriend?

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"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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Halfy
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Yes she is still my girlfriend, but I'm contemplating telling her what is going on tonight.

The thing though, is that she has been trying really hard to make me happy, especially in this past week. I don't know if maybe she's sensing my distance and is trying to keep me in the relationship or if it's by chance, but she's jut been an amazing girlfriend recently. But for whatever reason, I'm still unhappy.

She told me last night that she'd never contemplate suicide again. Whenever she felt bad she said that she was having "bad thoughts". I assumed these were thoughts of suicide, but apparently they were just what she said they were - bad thoughts.

She's said a few times recently that she's a horrible girlfriend - anytime she does one little thing wrong she takes it out on herself way too much. I really don't want her to feel like what is happening is somehow her fault.

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Halfy
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And I feel it's only fair that I clarify what exchanged between me and the other girl.

Right after we broke up this other girl contacted me(as a friend). After talking to her for a day or two, our topics of discussion would lead one to believe that I had a sexual interest in her. It's the weirdest thing though, and I honestly have no idea why I did this, but even though I had no sexual interest in her at all, I was flirting quite heavily. After four or five days of this I decided I should further myself from her as much as possible, so essentially I began to cut off contact.

As far as my girlfriend was concerned, cheating is cheating, whether it's done physically or just through messages, and I can definitely see her point there. I feel terrible about what I did. Maybe that's why I feel this has to end, because I can't deal with the guilt of it all.

Is it wrong of me then to break up with her? Doesn't that make me incredibly greedy - breaking up with her and causing her even more pain just so that I don't have to face my own?

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Heather
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Halfy, I've just read through this whole thread, and it's very clear that you care very deeply about this girl, and that you have been doing all you can to do right by her. But even though she has some serious issues and problems, it's just not your responsibility to help her manage them, and you're not unimportant. Staying in something where you're unhappy, just not feeling it and it isn't what you want to...well, parent someone more than being partnered with them isn't good for anyone. Not her, and certainly not you.

You can't control how she interprets this, or who she blames for the end of the relationship. There's no magical recipe for you to do anything you do and fix her issues, or have them not come into play.

If she's stable enough to be in a relationship, she has to be able to deal with a breakup, even if it hurts, even if it's hard. And it's up to her to only get into or stay in a relationship if and when she IS stable enough to do that: that's her responsibility, not yours, you know?

It sounds to me like she actually does need to put her energy into working through her own issues outside a relationship more before being in one, and not just for her benefit. With the phone calls, with you being able to have no social life outside of her, with making you simply speaking to someone else a "trust issue," it's sounding to me like she's actually been pretty manipulative and controlling in some respects. It sounds possible that she even feels a breakup coming and is trying to control that. That's not healthy for either of you.

Were you able to talk to her friends or family to try and suss out that she'll have some other support with this? Mind, that's also not your responsibility, but I would say knowing that seems likely to be a comfort for you, and is just a kind thing to do.

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Heather
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You posted right after I replied.

Honestly, I still don't see that this communication between you and the other girl would fit into most people's definitions of "cheating." People flirt or are flirty sometimes, and it also sounds to me like you've probably just been in need of a non-loaded exchange.

I don't hear you being greedy. I see what looks like has been a pretty unhealthy, unhappy relationship. And again, that's not good for anyone.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Halfy
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So I broke up with her on Friday night. She was spending the night but I figured that dragging it out would probably be worse. Plus I felt it was only right that I break up with her in person.

So, I told her what was happening, and she took it rather hard. She was crying, she was begging me to stay with her. God I felt horrible.

Yesterday was odd. My mothers birthday was Friday(odd) and so on Saturday we went out to eat and celebrate. Being polite she came along too, but somehow it seems neither of us wanted to admit that it was over. After we ate we walked around for a while, then we went and saw two movies at the theater. We went to her house, she got some more clothes, and we went back to my house. She was staying the night again.

Then this morning we woke up and went to her house because her mom asked if we'd come over for breakfast. After there we met with my mom to go shopping for some clothes. Then I took her home again, and then I came back to my house(where I am now).

Before I left she told me "You know it's not going to hit us until after you leave". I really hope that's not true, because I feel horrible about it as it is. God she was so sad.

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"There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don't."

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Heather
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Breakups are usually painful, even when they're wanted.

And yep: often it does take some time to sink in, as well as some space. Going to family things together when you've just broken up isn't really the best plan. Two people need some time and space after a breakup, so you're going to want to take that for yourself, and have her do the same.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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