Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She's the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
It's So Hard To Say Goodbye…
In my role as a therapist, life coach and breakup recovery coach here at Growing Self, I have had the honor and privilege to walk along side many people as they make agonizing decisions about whether or not to stay in a relationship. They often have deep ambivalence about the relationship: They love their person, and they acknowledge that the relationship has many good aspects, and yet they simply feel in their heart that it is not the right relationship for them.
So they stay. Sometimes, for years.
Can you relate? If so, you know how difficult it is. I bet, if you're like most people currently in a relationship that you would like to end, you can feel pretty stuck. On the one hand, you care for your partner and don't want to hurt them. On the other hand, you know that sooner or later, this needs to end.
But how? When? How do you breakup with someone you still love, especially if they don't want the relationship to end?
Can You Care About Someone and Still Want to Break Up?
It's actually very normal to care about someone, and yet want to end the relationship. In fact, having compassion for your partner as a human being is one of the things that can make a breakup so difficult.
I actually had someone write in with this exact question, asking about how he's actually tried to break up a number of times, but his partner essentially convinces him that things can get better. He acquiesces, and things do get better for a little while, but then things go back to the way they were. He feels that they are not right for each other, but gets talked back into trying again every time he tries to break up.
This has been going on now for… ready? … Eight years.
He know it needs to end. They're actually engaged now. He wants to break off the engagement but doesn't know how. He doesn't want to be the “bad guy.” He feels that he's hurt her enough already, and doesn't want to cause her more pain. But… he also wants to be out of the relationship.
Hear Henry's whole question, and my response, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. I'm addressing:
- Why people get stuck in unhappy relationship
- Why (and when) breaking up can be the most compassionate thing for all parties
- How to break up with someone you care about (especially if they argue with you about it)
- Underlying factors that can contribute to people having “commitment issues”
- What relationship patterns need to be addressed, lest they follow you into your next relationship
- What to discuss in couple' counseling if you want to give it one more shot
I hope this perspective helps!
Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast
How to Break Up With Someone You Care About
Music Credits: Harry Nilsson, “Jump Into The Fire”