Free Relationship Advice: Your Relationship Questions, Answered

Here Is Some Free Relationship Advice from a Marriage and Family Therapist

Today, I’m offering you free relationship advice and answering your relationship questions. As a couples counselor and relationship coach, I know that relationships can be confusing sometimes, and lots of people have relationship questions. We have listeners of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast and readers of our blog get in touch frequently asking for free relationship advice with questions about how they can connect with their partners, improve their communication, or create positive change in their marriages. (As well as asking questions about how to grow personally, or create positive changes in different areas of their life). But today’s podcast is all about relationships — specifically, your relationship questions.

Free Relationship Advice: Your Relationship Question, Answered.

Today, we’re answering your relationship question in order to give you some direction, and real help for your relationship. Here are some of the relationship questions I’m answering today:

“How do I know whether my relationship is worth saving, or if I should let this go and move on?”

“Should I stay friends with my Ex?”

We discussed the pros and cons of staying friends with your Ex, and how to decide whether or not you should. We also talked about how to cut the cord with your Ex, if the time is right. A resource shared was, “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love.”

“I’m shutting down with my partner. How do I stop?”

“I’m afraid that my boyfriend is emotionally unavailable due to his own issues. What should I do?”

  • We talked about the realities of having a partner who is emotionally unavailable due to their own unaddressed emotional issues, and who is not interested in working on themselves. We discussed her points of power, and her opportunities for changing the situation, as well as how to move forward with a partner who is unwilling. Resources mentioned included, What to Do When Your Partner Has a Problem.

Do you have relationship advice for these questions or personal experiences that you can relate to? Perhaps you have your own relationship questions, self-improvement questions, breakup questions, or career questions for an upcoming episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast? If so, please leave them in the comments!

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. Pro Tip: One very simple, low-key way to start making positive changes in your relationship today is to get your partner to listen to this podcast episode with you. (Yes! Trap them in the car!) Joking aside, listening to relationship advice like that offered here can stimulate productive conversations and lead to growth. Try it and let me know what happens! LMB

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147 Comments

  1. Hi, I am listening to your “Listeners Questions” podcast and I have a specific question about my relationship. My boyfriend and I’s two year anniversary in coming up in less than two weeks. I would say we have had a healthy, happy, strong relationship over all. He is not always the most communicative person and he has his mood swings but all in and we have a great time together and I would consider our relationship a mature, loving one. At the very end of May I found out he cheated on me. He took a girl home from the bar with the intentions of having sex with her. There was a make out session but for multiple reasons the sex didn’t happen (supposedly). We have talked for hours and hours/days and days – evaluating our relationship. He cried. I cried (to say the least). He has been very responsive as far as every time I bring it up or have another question he is patient and answers me. He swears this was a one time thing. Yes he was drunk (not an excuse and we both have talked about that). We have decided to work things out and try to get past this. I am really trying actively to trust and most days I think I do and then I get a big flood of mistrust every now and then. I just dont know how to move past it. I am trying and I feel like he is too. But I dont want to get my heart broke AGAIN and I definitely do not want to be with someone who cheats on me. We are in love and care very deeply about each Oher. It just sucks because I feel like he ruined something we had that was good and I trusted in. Do you think this really could be a one time thing? or do you think that if he did it once he will do it again?

    1. Hi Kristen, thank you so much for your question about whether there is hope for your relationship after infidelity, or “is a cheater always a cheater?” I thought it was so good, and so relevant to others that I addressed it on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast: Should We Break Up Or Stay Together? I know that my opinion is one of many, but I do hope the discussion / perspective helps you make a decision about what is best for you. All the best to you, Lisa

    2. I have been dating my boyfriend for a while and we are about to hit a month on August 8th. I personally think he is avoiding me and I dont know why, I told my sister about it and she told me that all the signs were there and that he was in fact avoiding me. The thing is that he does text me saying goodmorning and I love you to me but I reply back to him and he just takes too long to respond or just doesn’t open it till he wants to. I texted him and his cousin and he doesn’t reply to me so I just ask his cousin if he is busy and his cousin tells me that he is not busy that he just texted her. I thought to myself that his cousin was probably lying. I was wrong. The same thing happened but that time he was texting my own brother and I had texted him after my brother had sent him a message and it turns out that he answers my brother but he doesn’t answer me. I have tried to fix things with him and talk about it with him but, he either changes the subject or tells me that he is busy but that he still tries to text me anyways. I need some advice because I am out of ideas and I just dont know what to do or how to fix things. I really want this relationship to work because he is a really nice guy and is very respectful. We just started dating and if I did break up with him I dont want to hurt him or make him think that I was just using him as a rebound even though I haven’t dated anyone in a year. Please help me out I really want this relationship to work out and eventually get somewhere.

      1. Something important to keep in mind when you’re dating something new is that it’s an audition. For them. It’s a chance for you to get to know someone a little better, to see how they operate, and what it feels like to be in a relationship with them. What you’re telling me is that this is not feeling good for you, and that you’ve become aware that this person does not communicate with you the way that you would like him to.

        The LAST thing you want to do in a new relationship is start chasing someone around to pay more attention to you. That is such a disempowering position to be in.

        Your choices are to either do some work around managing your own expectations for what “should” be happening (and practicing having it be okay for people to not feel like talking to you or having other things they are paying attention to.) Or, you could decide that what would work better for you is a person who was more communicative and responsive, and then go find that.

        I’m glad that you have enough “data” after just a month to know that he is either not the right person for you, or you are not the right person for him. That is a blessing, compared to the alternative… All the best, Lisa

  2. First off I want to start by saying I never ask for help when it comes to my relationship. I always try to figure it all out myself. But this time I’m at a loss. I’m 29 years old, my boyfriend’s 25, we’ve been together off and on for 3 years, (more on then off). We have had our share of ups and downs but somehow seem to make things okay between each other in the end, except for one of the biggest problems in our relationship.. Sex.. in the first month or two of our relationship it was good, we were having sex about 2 or 3 times a week and I was happy. In the past 6 months it’s dissolved to almost nothing. We went from two to three times a week, to two or three times a month, down to once a month if I’m lucky. He does not do oral sex ,he’s only performed it on me one time in our entire relationship.. although I’ve given it to him many times. I keep myself clean, shaved and smelling good. I’ve tried many different things to get him to notice me or want me sexually. But he doesn’t really touch me sexually at all. I tried to talk to him about this, he gives me a different excuse each time but I can never find a real reason or solution. I’m pretty sure he’s not cheating, and I’m pretty open sexually and I’ve suggested quite a few different things, hoping to excite him. He tries to tell me it’s not me. But he will go on porn sites and masturbate. I’ve been faithful to him throughout everything, but this is pushing me to my breaking point. I enjoy sex and I want sex with my boyfriend, but I feel deprived and I’m extremely self-conscious now. I feel as though I’m disgusting and that’s why he doesn’t want it. Please tell me what to do, I’m afraid that breaking up with him or cheating on him is going to be my next move, and that terrifies me because I love him. But how much is a person supposed to take before they crack?

    1. Hi Tasha. So…. It would be entirely unethical for me, or any other therapist to arm-chair quarterback and raise the possibility that your bf is a sex-addict, so I’m not going to do that. I would, however, encourage you to think about what YOU want and need (and deserve!) in a relationship. It sounds like you’re not getting it. You are young, and of an age where people start to view their partners through the lens of whether they are marriage material. Please think about the possibility that the relationship you are currently having with this person is, actually, how it will always be. Resist the temptation to speculate about how it would be, “if only.” Instead, I would strongly caution you to think about what types of things you need over the next forty years of your life in order to not wind up a bitter old woman, and act accordingly.

      Resources for you:
      “What to do when your partner has a problem”
      “Are you trapped in a codependent relationship”

      All the best,
      Lisa

  3. I have a ukrainian girl and I have had some serious trust concerns. She hid a guy friend from me for months. Chatting on the phone or messaging. Telling me she was talking to a girlfriend when I could hear a guy voice on the other end. She says this guy is like family but hid him for 3 months before admitting who he was when I finally had enough. Recently I was told late night that she was going to watch you tube and later found out she was visiting this guy. Are my concerns out of thin air or what? Am I just overly jealous?

    1. Peter… so sorry. I mean, from my experience as a couples counselor and relationship coach, I’m always aware that there are two sides to every story and I always caution people away from making assumptions. And, at the same time, if the things that you’re describing are happening in your relationship… that sounds pretty bad. I don’t think you’re being overly jealous. I would feel pretty bad too, if I were in your shoes.

      When you learn that someone is not trustworthy it’s generally a bad idea to continue moving forward. This may be a sign it’s time to back away from this relationship. If she’s insisting that it’s all above board, I would strongly encourage you two to get involved in some good couples counseling. I think it will be hard for you to feel emotionally safe in this relationship unless some significant changes are made. My two cents!

      All the best to you,
      Lisa Marie Bobby

  4. Hello, i am Lorenzo, and i have a question,
    I met a girl! And i asked her out, so we went together to the cinema the first time, then we went out again together and we went to a place to drink and talk and we talked a lot and laugh a lot too! Then she said to me that she wanted to do it slowly, so i said okey me too i want that it goes slowly as well!
    So the next time she went to my home and we ate bbq! Everything was fine and we had a moment that we could kiss but we didnt do it! I know its stupid but yeah!
    Than we went out to the city and we stayed all day long walking, and you remember that she said that she wanted to do it slowly! But she took tje first steps that day walking she looked at me smiling and she took my hand so we walked hand in hand a good beggining, then sometimes she came like closer to me with her head when we were walking you know!
    And then later that evening she stepped out of the car and she kissed me! And she asked me is it now official! And i said yes it is! So we went very happy to home with a big smile on our faces!
    But then a few days later she went to Germany to visit someone and now she sais she does not want to be in a relationschip anymore! That she does not want it! But i dont understandt that!
    So i did not speek to her for a week! And now i began texting with her again but normal! Normal texting! After a week!
    So now i really dont know what to do should i ask her out again or should i wait a bit more!
    Please help me! It was one of the best days of my life that friday evening!

    And if that can help you!
    I think the problem with her is that she sometimes chooses to be with me and other times not ! That she does not know what to choose from !
    And thats why i dont know what i should do next!

    1. Hi Lorenzo. Okay so first of all: You are the cutest person who has ever posted a comment on this blog ever. You win! You sound like such a sweet young person.

      As for your question: I hear how much you really liked this girl and how excited you were when it seemed like she liked you back. It’s so confusing when you have good experiences with someone and then their feelings seem to shift, isn’t it? Unfortunately my magic 8 ball is broken so I cannot tell you what will happen here.

      What I CAN share is that people often have ambivalence in new relationships, and she may very well be torn between her enjoyment of you, and her attachment to someone else. (IDK if the person she visited in Germany was an old flame?) I often speak with people who are dating again after having ended a relationship, and honestly, sometimes they’re out there meeting people, flirting and dating before they are emotionally ready to do so. This can create a lot of confusion for the people they’re seeing who ARE ready to get involved with them. Of course, all of this is random speculation for what may be going on with her.

      But let’s talk about you: You can’t control anyone besides yourself, and certainly not how people feel. If you’re really interested in her, it may be a good strategy to play it cool and lower your expectations for this. If you talk, text or hang out, keep it light and whatever you do don’t be needy or make her uncomfortable with “let’s talk about us” questions. She is clearly not anywhere near that. Perhaps, over time, she may work through whatever ambivalence she has and decide that she wants to be with you.

      However… in these situations, as you’re experiencing, the “maybe” person has a lot of power. This can make you feel like you’re kind of dangling on the end of a string waiting for her to make up her mind. This is not a good feeling Lorenzo, as you know. It’s also okay to decide for yourself that you would like to be in a relationship with someone who really likes you and who is exited to be with you, and to start exploring other options. I’d hate to think of you waiting around too long for someone to figure out their stuff (and feeling bad in the process), when you could be enjoying time with somebody who is eager to date you. Furthermore, your dating other people subtly communicates that you are a valuable, attractive potential partner who has lots of options. Your taking your power back and stepping away from this may help her feel more motivated to move closer. And if not, you’ll still be in a good place.

      Your super-cute self deserves that! xo, Lisa

  5. Hi I’m Claire my ex and I dated as kids for 7yrs broken up 25yrs on were back together only hes said he’s only with me now as I’m poorly and will never open up or show feelings as I hurt him in our past by ending it if I wasn’t ill he’d not be here now what do I do help me please

    1. Hi Claire, thanks for writing. It sounds like there is a lot of water under this here bridge. I’m hearing that there has been trust broken on both sides. I can’t imagine it feels good for you to be with someone who’s “just here because you’re ill.” I would strongly encourage you to explore couples counseling with someone who can help you talk about what happened. I hope that you will be able to mend your bond and develop a healthier relationship with this person. If you’d like to get started in private couples counseling, here’s a link to schedule a free consultation session with one of the couples therapists on our team. Wishing you all the best, Lisa

  6. My boyfriend of 3 years bought me a gold necklace for my birthday and months later we got into a big fight and “broke up” for only a day……. and we got back together the next day but he never gave me my necklace back. I haven’t said anything about in hopes he will just give it back without me asking. But we recently got into another huge fight and I mentioned that I wanted my necklace back and he refused to give it to me. And once again we got back together after a day or two and he hasn’t given me my necklaces and I feel weird about asking for them since he is the one that bought them and ripped them off my neck in the heat of the moment. I just don’t know what to do should I not get back with him for doing that to me ?? I really want them back and I feel like they mean so much to me and I know we’ll just get in another fight and I might not ever get them back again. Ps we have these “big fights” that seem very serious quite often. How do I make it stop or should I just give it all up.

    1. Paris, forgive me for saying this, but what you’re describing does not sound like a very healthy relationship. It sounds like a pretty toxic relationship. I’m hearing about big dramatic (violent?) fights, spiteful breakups, weird passive-aggressive power and control things, withholding things that are important to you, and you feeling fearful to bring up things for fear of getting into another crap-show fight.

      What are you getting out of this?

      I’m going to go turbo-shrink on you: I wonder if your desire for these necklaces — the ones you can’t have, because someone gives and then takes them back and holds them over you — is some kind of symbolic symbol for what you want out of this relationship that you can’t have either. You deserve to be respected. You deserve not to be screwed with. You deserve to be able to talk to someone openly. These necklaces are symbolic of love and commitment that is given and then taken away again to punish you. I think you want these necklaces because you really want a solid gold, trustworthy, valuable relationship instead of one where you’re manipulated and jerked around.

      New idea: These golden necklaces are chains. Set yourself free from this bullsh**t Paris. Consider listening to this podcast about how to leave a toxic relationship with your dignity intact. If talking to someone about your patterns in relationships (including your relationship with yourself) would be helpful I invite you to schedule a consultation with someone on our team.

      You deserve better than this!

      xoxo, Lisa Marie Bobby

  7. Hi Dr. Lisa, I recently found out my wife was secretly texting her ex talking about one day being together and talking baby names. I tryed ending our relationship but turns out she’s now pregnant with our fourth child.

    I really want to leave but can’t because I don’t know how i could afford to help her with her rent and also pay my own rent.

    We’ve had a very troublesome relationship these past four years out of the ten we’ve been together due to my incarceration and her infidelity. I paroled to our old apt. because she insisted I stay there. It wasn’t hard to see that we would eventually hook up again even though she was in a relationship with someone else.

    After months of back and forth cheating we finally decided to do things right and be exclusive. We got a bigger more pricier apt. Together and things were going pretty well until I recently found out she was secretly in contact with her ex.

    I read her texts with the ex and there was talk about one day being together and talk about baby names. She lies to him and says we’re not together and that she’s single. After confronting her I tried to end it but she then tells me that she is pregnant with our child.

    It’s pretty obvious this is not a relationship worth saving but I feel stuck. Tied down. I would love to hear your opinion on this Doctor.

    Sincerely Christian.

    1. Christian, you are confronting many issues here, both in your relationship and in your life. Infidelity (on both sides), incarceration, commitment issues. I hear you saying that you feel like the relationship isn’t worth saving, which may be true, but you have children together so you’re going to have a relationship with her for many years whether or not it’s romantic.

      My advice (in order):

      1) Stop having sex with this person immediately, and move her to the “person I had children with who I treat with respect” category as opposed to romantic partner category.

      2) Get yourself into career counseling or vocational training so that you have income to support yourself and your children, and are not feeling “trapped” by your financial circumstances (or tempted to get re-involved with whatever it was that originally led to your incarceration).

      3) Forget about romantic relationships for the near future. No dating. Put all your energy into getting your act together so that you can be a great father for them. Your kid’s mom sounds like a chaotic mess, so they really, really need you to step up. You have FOUR little, vulnerable people who need you to be reliable, trustworthy, responsible, and absolutely devoted to doing whatever it takes to help them build the kind of foundation that will enable them to have happy, successful lives. Talk to them. Be present. Help them with homework. Cook for them and pack their lunches. Go grocery shopping. Get them to school on time. Enroll them in positive activities. Be supportive and emotionally available. Here are a bunch of parenting resources for you: https://www.positivediscipline.com/

      4) Parent, work and sleep. That’s your life now Christian. It may sound boring, but it’s the path of redemption. This is really not about you anymore. However, in devoting your life to the wellbeing of the children who are depending on you, you just might find your own.

      Wishing you and your family all the best,
      Lisa Marie Bobby

  8. Hi! I hope you can help me. I never been in a relationship before. I used to like a guy but not really like him. I just like to look at him sometimes. I don’t hope for more. But what suprise me is he likes me. He said it often cause we always like tease each other and he is a friendly guy, so he does’nt scared to tell me that. We always play around. I’m scared if he confess to me seriously one day and ask me, if i want to be in a relationship with him or not. I’m not ready to be in any relationship but i don’t want to reject him. What i have to do???

    1. Tough situation: On the one hand it sounds like you enjoy this person as a friend, but you’re concerned that he might like you and want a romantic relationship with you. It’s fun to play and flirt, but I’m also hearing that you don’t want to lead him on. I wonder if a good middle path would be for you to stay friendly (but not flirty), and trust that if / when the time comes you will be able to say, “I like you as a friend but not romantically” in a kind yet firm way. You can do this! When you trust in your own competence to manage challenging situations, you don’t have to worry. You got this! LMB

  9. My girfriend and i have been together for 2 and a half years. We decided to have a baby very early in our relationship. Hes 1 now and since she got pregnant until now, the sex has been almost non existant. On top of that her mood towards me is almost always negative and the only time we get which is very little. She spends talking about her work. Ive been very patient and supportive but ifeel like im not getting what i need from this relationship and it seems to be slipping slowly but surely. When i bring up sex she is almost always quick to become almost offended and very turned off. I kmow its a complicated issue whwn dealing with pregnancy, hormones, and the effects on a womans mind and body but at some point should she be “taking one for the team” even if shes not 100 percent into it? Just seems no mateer how i bring this up i spund like a jerk…

    1. This is a hard situation. Many (most? ALL?) couples struggle, at least to a degree, with sexuality in the years following childbirth. Your partner may be feeling totally “touched out,” exhausted, and — believe it or not — sexual intercourse can be extremely painful for women who are nursing or pregnant. (A physician once told me, “Nature does not want a woman to get pregnant again soon, and has some effective ways of preventing that from happening!”)

      I’m also hearing that you miss her and are wanting to feel connected with her again. Also super common. I would recommend a couple of resources for you. First of all, you might consider enrolling in our Online Postpartum Support Group, to get guidance and support around these common concerns. Here’s the link to learn more and enroll. Private couples counseling might also be really helpful to you, particularly with a counselor trained in Sex Therapy. At Growing Self, my colleague Dori Bagi would be a great choice. (She is trained in Sex Therapy). At the very least, you can schedule a free consultation with her and see how that goes.

      I hope those options are helpful to you and your partner Isiah. It sounds like you are building a family and a future together, and investing in your relationship now will help you create a lifetime of love together and a solid foundation for your children. All the best, Lisa

    1. Hi Claire, thanks for reaching out. The quickest way to get relationship advice specific to your situation is to meet with our on call coach for a “Solution Session.” This is basically a single-serve solution focused coaching session. You can talk about what’s going on, and your coach will discuss options with you and help you craft an action plan. (Then they’ll email you your action plan after your session so you have a roadmap for next steps). Here’s the link to learn more about our Solution Sessions, and to get in touch with our on-call coach. Get Advice: Talk to Our On Call Coach

  10. Me and my girlfriend of 7 years broke up. We have a kid and a house together. I moved out shortly after the break up and she started dating a guy fairly quickly. That only lasted about 3 months and then she started texting and calling me more, invited me to concerts and we even ended up having sex on 3 different occasions. When I approached her about the hot and cold actions she tried to brush them to the side and said she wasn’t trying to give me false impressions. For a month she was always contacting me first, asking me to hangout and even got mad when I denied her sex the first time. I don’t know what to think or do. Any advice would help.

  11. Me and my girlfriend are currently 2 weeks into a break that we decided to take. She wanted it because of stress from school, and not seeing her friends enough. I was giving her space and barely talking to her until the other night when someone told me that she was hanging out with her previous ex. I asked her about it and she denied it and then I tried to arrange a time where we could meet up and talk but she says she is busy. I’m pretty sure I made her mad by asking about what I was told. I don’t know what to do now, as I don’t want to lose her for good.

  12. I lied to my boyfriend(23) in the beginning of our relationship about things that I’ve “done” with past partners when I’ve never been in a relationship or even talked to a male before him, I’m very insecure. I told him the truth after a year because I wasn’t sure how to tell him sooner. Now he thinks that I am a compulsive liar and he constantly asks me the same questions and I am always open and honest about everything. Its gotten to the point where he asks me if I have been in a relationship before him and will I be in a relationship in the future. He gets upset over the simplest things and he leaves, and says he suffers being with me but he can’t live without me and comes back so that we can work things out. During the times when he asks me not to talk to him or he ignore my texts and calls then he says that I’ve been with someone or done something when he’s the only person I’ve ever been with or talk to besides family. When we are trying to work out the relationship he thinks that everything that I say has a different meaning or if I don’t say something exactly like he wants to hear it, we are arguing again and going back in the same cycle. He has just recently told me that his last relationships never last because he doesn’t trust anyone and he thinks what he wants to think and believe. He’s also said that he can’t forgive or let go. We love each other so much, we talk about marriage, kids and pursuing our goals together very often. What should I do?

  13. Hi. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 3 years now. For the most part our relationship is pretty average and happy. The problem is that every time he drinks things go wrong. When he drinks he has a hard time knowing when to stop drinking before he gets too drunk, and even when I ask him to try his hardest not to not blackout he does anyway. When he gets to this phase he either completely forgets that I exist and goes off with his friends and leaves me behind, or if I try to stop him he gets really mean and says really horrible things to me and we get in a fight. Is there any advice that you could give me? I’m desperate and feel like I’m out of options. I love him when he’s sober but I truly think I hate the person he is when he’s drunk

    1. Kelly thank you so much for reaching out with this question. I hear how much you love him and want this to work, and how concerned you are about his substance use. I thought your question was so great I actually posed it to a recent guest of mine on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast who happens to be a Master Addictions Counselor, among other things. Here’s what he had to say: https://www.growingself.com/how-to-get-your-needs-met-in-a-relationship/ I hope that this relationship advice helps you get your needs met in your relationship! All the best to you, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

  14. Hi, I don’t know what to do. I was with this boy for 3 years and he broke up wth me about 6 moths ago and appeared to move on very quick while I was heartbroken, he started talking to another girl within a week. However 3 months ago he begged for me back and we started going on lots of dates again and I was excited for it to work. But 3 months on he still he won’t tell anyone about us because he thinks he will lose his friends (because he spoke so badly about me in the break up). I went to speak to him and he made me look crazy telling them he hadn’t spoken to me. He also made a lot of my friends turn on me because of this incident and became very close with them which is hard. He said “you only want me to tell them so they hate me too”! He also won’t tell his parents because apparently they won’t approve cause ‘breaking up and getting back together is stupid’. I asked when he will tell them and he said ‘I don’t know I don’t have to think about that right now’ it makes me think he doesn’t care and it’s really hurting me. He also says ‘I care about you a lot’ instead of saying I love you. This is so hurtful but he says he wants to see consistancy before he says it i.e I stop arguing about him telling people. He also won’t go in public with me,in town for example, he says it’s because ‘we aren’t right yet’ but I know it’s because he doesn’t want people to see. This upsets me because he goes out with aevrryone else except me. All of this is hurting me so much because I really love him and I thought he had realised he loved me because he was crying to get me back. However I recognise I can’t live like this. I tried to tell him how I feel but he returned it with how he doesn’t like that I cause arguments like before but I’m only upset due to what I mentioned above. He also says I worry to much but I get upset with him clubbing with my old friends and spending lots of time with them and the girl he started to talk to. After we broke up he became very popular and presented me in a an awful way and himself in an amazing wsy, neither being true. We aren’t official and that hurts because he clearly isn’t committing to anything. It’s hurting me so much because we were together such a long time. I don’t know what to do. Should I end it and walk away or is there anyway to get him to listen to me and understand where I’m coming from? Is there anyway to get him to agree to what I said? Am I being over sensitive? Is there a way to become stronger? Sorry for all the questions I’m so confused and upset. Thank you x

  15. Hi Lisa, I am from India. I am in love with a guy who is also one of my best friends. We studied together in college and we have been in touch and go on trips together often even after college ended and our working lives began. We share everything about our daily lives, talk or text each other everyday and my parents know him as my friend and vice versa. He is free spirited and he travels a lot on days he is not working. We usually go on trips with our friends and he flirts playfully with me around everyone. Just the two of us had went on a few trips together and on all of these trips we slept with each other. But when I asked him about us he said he doesn’t want to give any commitment and isn’t “in love” with me and I am becoming too serious. That he is attracted to me but doesn’t think long term and said he wants to move to Canada and settle down there. I said I would move with him but he just said that I’ll find someone much better than him and he doesn’t understand why I am in love with him. I have asked him twice about getting into a serious relationship. But he said the same thing. Also, he looks for approval from his mom and I know because I am friends with his ex and he had broken up with her after 1 month because his mom didn’t approve of her. We are still best of friends and still talk or text each other everyday. I am still in love with this guy and it pains me to talk to him everyday and realize that he wouldn’t say anything that shows that he cares about me. I don’t understand where the problem lies , if he is attracted to me, why does he not like me? Should I just forget him or pursue him?

    1. Preity, I feel for how much you care about this person. Clearly he is a cherished friend and I can understand how you’d be feeling very hopeful given the contact you have with him. However, for whatever reason, he does not feel the same way about you. Men who are into a woman will move mountains to make it known. You deserve better than having to harass someone into being with you. My guess is that he really appreciates your friendship, and cares about you in that way, and would hate to lose that. However, the downside is that your attachment to an unavailable person is preventing you from finding a relationship with someone who does want to be with you. My advice is to start actively dating. If it’s hard for you to do that will still maintaining such close contact with this fella… might be time to let him go. Good luck with things. LMB

  16. Hello. Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 4years now. We have a 1yr 6month old baby. Ive asked him when will we get married but he says we still have alot of time for that. I’m thinking he doesn’t want to. We have our arguments and our happiness moments but sometimes i feel this relationship is going to end at any point. When we argue he doesn’t communicate as much he just perfers to say “ok” or “bye”. What should I do?

  17. Hey my name is sophie, my boyfriend of four yrs broke up with me recently nd i want to give back all his presents tht he gave me and everything with it. Part of everything he gave me i was thinking to take all our pictures nd putting it in a flash drive usb nd sending ot to him with his stuff that he gave me. Is that a bad idea?

  18. Hi. I am currently in a very confusing place in my relationship. My boyfriend of 4 years refuses to talk after we had an argument over a very minor issue (I read his message but did not reply as we were having a but of a tiff via text. His last message to me was that he would “say a few things but not now” to which I did not reply ). I called him 3 days later to ask if we could talk about the issue in person and he suddenly started lashing out at me, saying he always has to make things right. He was extremely rude and condescending towards me, screaming and swearing. He then said that it wouldn’t be a good idea to speak as his emotions are running high.. It has now been over a week that we have had no contact. I am left hanging and confused as to where we stand in our relationship, or if this is the end of us. Please help. I have seen a different side of him in that argument and I am scared to continue a relationship with him.

    1. Ria, thanks for your question. This is a good one: I may answer it on an upcoming episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, or by video. If you’re on Instagram, please follow me at Instagram.com/drlisamariebobby — I always post there when I publish a new podcast or answer a listener question!

      But for now: In my experience, the only time people really do not make sense is when you don’t have all the information. There is more to this story that you don’t know about yet. You got a little peek when he freaked out.

      I would strongly advise that you get involved in couples counseling. He needs to come clean about what is happening for him, and for whatever reason he hasn’t been letting you into how he is really feeling. It may be that he (as many men do) struggles with figuring out how to communicate dark emotions, and that they’re piling up inside of him.

      For some people, who don’t get any intervention or support from couples therapy, they decide that breaking up is easier / emotionally safer / preferable to dealing with all the feelings and attempting to create positive change in their relationship.

      I hope that this isn’t the case for you two. If you haven’t already, I do hope you consider making an appointment with a good couples counselor to see what the heck is going on, and if it can be worked through.

      Holding hope for you!

      Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

  19. Hi, I’m Sabrina. My girlfriend and I have been dating for two and a half years. She has a few problems and needs a lot of reassurance, which I try to give as much as I can. But I go through these spells where I don’t want to be touched, where I feel suffocated if I am. She always takes it personally, even though I’ve told her repeatedly that it’s not her fault, sometimes I just don’t like contact. Is there anything I can do? I don’t like upsetting her. Should I just suck it up and do it anyway? I’m at a loss here. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Sabriiinnnaaaa! I liked your question so much I posed it to my colleague Dori Bagi, who is a sex therapist and who often works with couples struggling with this very issue. Here is Dori’s amazing advice for how to handle this: How to Heal Your Relationship When You Don’t Want to Be Touched. Thank you for bringing up this question, and I hope Dori’s advice helps you. If you’d like more support, you might consider meeting with Dori one-on-one (or with your girlfriend). She is really good… xo, Lisa

  20. Hello so recently I traveled for almost two weeks my boyfriend was using my laptop I checked the browser I seen he was on his ex page and this wasn’t the first time. Than a girl he was talking to he was liking all her pics online. Than he was watching porn a lot. When I came back n we had sex he took so long and it was just awful cause he couldn’t cum and I thought it was me. He went to go visit family and the first thing he did when he got there was write a girl who used to talk too, and he wrote her on snap because he didn’t think I would have seen it smh. I broke up with him and we live together and idk what to do

    1. I think that was a good call! I hope you stay committed to your values, and your decision. I recommend you take your energy away from thinking about this issue-riddled person and instead put your energy in to 1) finding a new place to live and 2) moving on. Good work!! LMB

  21. I am in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost two years and things used to be so good. He is a teacher and used to work and live in London when I lived in th West if Ireland. He moved back last summer when he got a job in Dublin and I thought the main reason for this was for me. The last few months have been very tough he doesn’t message me as often during the day as he did, when we meet up he spends a lot of time on his phone and there can be a lot of silences. Last weekend I was up staying with him in Dublin and he went to the gym both mornings which upset me I felt like he didn’t want to spend time with me so I said it to him and he got annoyed saying why didn’t you tell me at the time. He eventually said let’s just forget about it and move on but I feel he’s not been the same with me and still sounds mad, he never gives emojis in messages anymore either and he always used to! Then he had to make his mind up about a job next year whether he’d keep the one in Dublin again or try to get one closer. He decided to take the one in Dublin for another year without asking my opinion and never even told me until I asked him if he’d made a decision which really upset me I thought my opinion would at least matter to him! Also he never bought me a valentines gift this year and when I said it to him he said he didn’t think we were doing presents this year even though we always did! I also think he tells me white lies about small things every now and again! I really don’t know if I’m been paranoid or do you think the relationship sounds like it’s over? Thanks

    1. Hey Anna, I’m not sure the relationship is “over.” It sounds like it’s evolving. What you described before sounded like early stage romantic love, with a long-distance component to boot. This phase of the relationship is usually much more intense (emojis, constant texts, etc) and with the long-distance part I bet that it felt much more passionate and like you two were always craving being together. Right?

      Now, you’re in a longer term relationship where you live in the same town, and it’s settling down into a more standard-issue basic relationship, where you both have other things going on. But you’re worried that something is wrong, and feeling insecure.

      So, couple of things: Please listen to this podcast, “How to Feel More Secure in Your Relationship.” Also, you might want to do some reading into secure attachment vs anxious attachment styles and think about what may apply here?

      I wouldn’t freak out Anna — this sounds pretty normal. I hope that if you manage your anxiety, and adjust your expectations about what your relationship “should” be like, you might find out that you guys are A-OK. Sometimes, when there is less pressure on a relationship it can lower conflict dramatically. I hope that is the case for you.

      Good luck with things!

      Lisa

      1. I am in a casual relationship with my colleague since 1 year. I fell deeply in love with him without even realizing it. He is my age, very charming man. I found out that he is dating another colleague of mine who is my friend. I have spoken with him about this and he told me that they broke up. But I know they didn’t. I even started hating my friend unconsciously. The fact that he is cheating on me is killing me inside. I feel miserable and extremely hurt. I tried to broke up with him several times but I couldn’t. My only wish is to stop loving him and eliminate feelings for him but the question is how? I really feel terrible..please help!
        I am separated with 2 boys, they are 20 and 14

        1. Sounds like you may be addicted to a toxic relationship. If you haven’t already, you might consider reading my book, “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love” to get insight and clarity into what is going on inside of you both emotionally, and neurologically. (Knowledge is power!) In addition to educating yourself, you will probably need some effective support to help you release this unhealthy attachment so that you can move on to create a healthy one. We do a lot of this work here at Growing Self, and you are welcome to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts if you’d like to do this with us. (Look for “breakup recovery” in their bio).

          I hope you do this important work. I have met many people who have spent a long time (like, years) twisting in the agony of these types of toxic relationships, and by the time they get spat out the other side their self esteem is in shreds and they have often been profoundly traumatized. I hope that you find the strength and courage to stop this sooner rather than later.

          As I shared in my own story about a similar toxic relationship experience, the worst part for many people on the other side of this was not the betrayal they experienced at the hands of their partner… it was the way they betrayed themselves by allowing this to happen (over, and over).

          I do sincerely hope that you take action to help yourself break this attachment so that you can heal and grow, and move on to create a healthy relationship with someone who treats you well. You deserve it. (As do your children, IMO). With love, Lisa Marie Bobby

  22. I’ve traveled to another state to see a guy friend of mine we were talking for like a year we saw each other before and I basically cam to spend time with him for the summer time I came since May and the month is almost over and I’m really trying to see him but he’s always telling me he got plans with his other friends and its really bothering me we are trying to build a relationship but too me he’s really not making the effort to come to see me I really don’t know 🙁

    we also facetime each other every day he mostly calls me all the time.

    1. If he’s not putting effort into things, and doesn’t have time for you it’s a pretty good indication that he may not feel the same way about you that you feel about him. Sounds like he’s getting in touch with you in ways that are convenient for him, without much regard for how you feel or what you want. This is why we date: To get to know people. Sounds like you’re getting to know this person, and the more you do, the less you’re liking this. I’d listen to that!

      Lisa

  23. Ex-boyfriend

    Hello! I’m Valerie. I’m 28 years old and I just got married a little over a month ago. He’s an amazing person and husband, and my second relationship.
    Im writing because I’m having trouble letting go of my past relationship. Basically, we met online through the blog site Tumblr and began “dating” right away, despite the fact that we lived in different countries. We were together three years and for one reason or another, never got to see each other. We did Skype, so I knew I wasn’t being catfished. He was a HUGE introvert who hated talking and writing, talking about himself or answering questions, which made interaction very difficult and mostly infrequent. I felt like I was in the relationship alone. We took a break once a year. The final time, he didn’t write and ignored me for three months, so I told him that was too painful and asked him to let me know when he was ready to talk. His words were “Will do”.
    Next thing I knew, just a month or two afterwards, I saw him on a Facebook picture with a girl. When I emailed him, he admitted it was his girlfriend. I was obviously shocked and devastated. I cried myself to sleep for weeks and didn’t start dating again for a year, until I met my husband.
    My ex went on to marry this girl and have kids with her. I mostly stopped thinking about him until he wrote me out of nowhere one day to apologize for how he treated me. Then i was back to thinking about him frequently. Then it got worse when I got engaged and because a daily thing where I just think about him and have imaginary conversations with him all the time.
    Now I know I barely interacted with this person and likely idealized him into this version that I love. I asked him if we could meet, but it was too far. Then i asked if we could Skype once, just to actually interact with the real him and hopefully be thrown off. He refused because he doesn’t like interaction. I replied with a last email telling him how hurt I am and deserve better after I stuck by him all that time and treated him well, and he basically cheated while we were supposedly on a break.
    I still think of him every day. I look at some pictures I saved from his Instagram and messages he sent me. I’m truly happy he found his match in someone who can make him happy, because God knows I never could. I’m glad he has children now and purpose. I truly am.
    Yet at the same time, I feel like I was cheated. Like I was in that relationship alone, then in the heartbreak alone (because he moved on immediately) and now in missing him. It hasn’t affected my marriage or anything, thankfully. But I can’t get over the fact that this relationship meant so much to me, my first love, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I tried so unbelievably hard for three years to make it work – not only for nothing, but for him not to care at all, even to this day. I don’t think I’m in love with him romantically anymore, though I do love and care for him as a person.
    How do I get over it? I told him I was sending his emails to junk, so I don’t expect him to write ever again.
    Can I ever get closure?

    1. Valerie, what a hard situation. It sounds like you’ve really been working to “get past this” on your own, but are feeling really stuck. Have you considered doing breakup recovery coaching? It can really help get you unstuck from old patterns, and do the inner work that will help you break free from this and put it behind you. As you so well know, time alone does NOT heal this type of thing — I’d hate for you to spend three more years doing what you have been doing. I think it’s time to take action Valerie! IMO! Lisa

  24. Hi. I am 30 and I was in a relationship foe 6 years. In March 2018 my boyfriend moved to Australia and i had plans to join him later. Since then we had a long-distance relationship and I was planning to go on a sabbatical to Germany this October and then after a year join him in Australia. Although he complained about his loneliness a few times and mentioned that I consider Australia for my sabbatical, he was supportive of my plan. He came back to visit for a month this May and during his visit we had a good time and he was loving and caring. one week after he left, we had a small issue and he suddenly said he can not take it anymore and got angry why i have left him alone. I changed my sabbatical plans for going to Australia immediately but After a few days of being cold he said he wants to break up. He said that he still loves me but i should have done something and it is too late now and that something has broken inside him and asked me not to go to Australia because he is dead inside. He said he has to leave to end his pain. I figured he has been planning it but he had doubts ( because during his visit he suggested a trip together in September) and he said that nice moments we have last month were all real and I believe him. he is a strong man and I know when he says something he means it. I still love him and if he had asked me seriously I would have definitely planned on going to Australia. He also mentioned that he wants us to be friends and said i let him know if I need anything. He said that he is also hurting so much from the break up and said he is leaving his roomie to be alone because without me he wants no other one around him. What should I do now? Should I fight for him or should I let go?

    1. It’s so often the case that there are things going on inside of people we love that they don’t communicate to us until it’s gotten past the point of no return. I wish it were different — so many relationship problems could be avoided or resolved if people had the courage to talk about things that feel hard to talk about. I can only speculate what else may have been going on inside of your BF, in addition to the things he was saying to you — because clearly there was more. But what you’re telling me now is that he is saying that he doesn’t want to do this with you anymore. You asked if you should “fight for this relationship.” If “fighting for the relationship” means attempting to convince him that you two should be together, I think that is an incredibly disempowering and self-esteem slaying position for you to put yourself in. You deserve to be with someone who is crazy about you. I hope you chalk this up to a learning experience and go find someone who is 1) better able to have authentic conversations with you about ALL of his feelings, and 2) who things you’re amazing. With love, Lisa

  25. Dear Lisa,
    I’m 32 and have been in a relationship with this guy for 13 years, of which we’ve been living in together for 4 years.
    We’ve had a great relationship but differences have cropped up lately, as it usually happens once you start living together.
    He’s easy going and doesnt complain much if things don’t go his way whereas I’m more vocal about what I would like. He’s a great guy, very understanding and our goals and values match. We generally laugh and have great times together.
    However, communication is a big challenge with him. I’m a great listener whereas it’s a task to get him to listen and respond to me. He says he cannot multitask and cannot listen until I grab his attention first. He says all men are like this.
    Also, of late he has stopped initiating sex. I have a higher sex drive and absolutely need it with him but he says it just doesn’t occur to him. I pointed out saying he could be losing interest or attraction towards me but he denies this. If he does comply after I usually initiate, there’s no passion and I feel he is just doing it mechanically out of obligation. I’ve been extremely helpful with his career, his other interests, I’ve even tried reducing his work stress but nothing helps.
    I’m a type A person and usually need things to be organised and dealt with immediately and he says my need for perfection is stressing him out.
    We are contemplating a break up since communication, attention and intimacy are my non-negotiables and he says he cannot meet my expectations since I’m over-expecting and his efforts are never enough for me.
    Also I’m tired of being the person in charge of things all the time since he is laid-back and i need a more responsible person to feel taken care of. He’s great at work but just doesn’t take charge at home.
    I asked him what he lacks in me and though he’s never specified this in all these years he stated the following. He says I’m not easy going, I don’t let him have the freedom of expression coz I want things to go my way, I’m an introvert and he prefers his partner to be extroverted and bold. That I don’t have the heart to forgive and cannot be his partner when it comes to taking career or financial decisions since I’m not outgoing.
    Also, He doesn’t like the way I dress since I’m not fashionable.
    This got me thinking that maybe he doesn’t initiate coz he doesn’t get attracted to me.
    I can try being a little easy on him and let him have his freedom of expression but I certainly cannot become extroverted since it’s not part of my personality.
    I don’t know what to do. He says he can still manage if I don’t fulfill these aspects but for me, I cannot manage without enough communication and intimacy.
    Please advice if I’m taking the wrong approach, if I’m expecting something out of norm, if we can still sort out our differences and have a great life together or should we just move on with our individual lives.
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Love,
    Ranji

    1. Hey Ranji! Great questions. So, what’s coming up for me as I read this, is two things: First of all, ALL relationships (ALL RELATIONSHIPS, Ranji) have what we call “unsolvable problems.” Marriage and family researcher and thought leader Dr. John Gottman himself has done quite bit of research on this subject and has concluded that even in the very best marriages, something like 70% of issues and differences are “unsolvable.” This means that what is good about the relationship needs to outweigh the annoying parts. Only you can know what is true for you, in that regard.

      But the other thing I’m hearing in your question is that you have not sought professional help in addressing these issues, but rather have been attempting to resolve things exclusively on your own, and I’m wondering why? Communication skills training is a thing, and most couples need to work together to build their partnership and get skills that helps them both have a better experience with each other, as well as develop empathy and tolerance (and even appreciation) for differences.

      Something about the way you ask this question makes me think that you believe a relationship should have all these things “off the rack” and that is absolutely not the case. As we say around here, “fantastic relationships don’t just happen, they’re grown.” (I should trademark that, haha). But seriously, you sound like an intelligent, proactive person who cares a lot about this relationship AND that this relationship has a lot of strengths. Invest in it! Get into couples counseling or premarital counseling and get all this out on the table, and both of you can learn some new strategies to build bridges to the center.

      And, honestly, if you both sincerely do this work and at the end find that the “unsolvable problems” are bigger and more problematic than the strengths of this relationship, it will give you the information you need to part ways from a place of clarity, authenticity and mutual respect. (And honestly, from a place of love in the sense that you both care enough about each other’s genuine wellbeing that you WANT each other to create a beautiful relationship with someone who is more fundamentally compatible).

      But you cannot really know what is possible for any relationship until you do the work to find out. I hope you do it! If you’d like to get involved in premarital counseling or relationship coaching with any of the relationship experts on our team here at Growing Self, the first step in getting started is to schedule a free consultation session. Nothing to lose here Ranji, and so much to gain. Wishing you all the best, Lisa Marie Bobby

  26. Hi, I am a young kid and REALLY would like some relationship advice. I’ll start at the beginning. Me and my ex dated three times, each of those times not lasting all that long. But every time, there are a few subtle signs he gives that he wants to get back with me. I would probably not get back with him just because of the sheer fact that he hurt me three times, but I would just like to know id these signs confirm my hunches. Fist, he always looks at me. Like eye contact and stuff. Second, he had recently followed me on Instagram and i followed him back, and within seconds this boy was accepting my requests and liking every. single. one. of. my. posts! And many of them are videos, so he couldn’t have even watched them. It is so confusing! I just really want to know how I should approach the situation and what all of it means. Oh, and he also will always stand in clear view of me, just so I have to stare at him before I can look at anything else. I was at a few games, and he just stood there, not looking at me but also standing right in front of me. He never talks to me or about me, but he does all of these simple things and more. Help, please!!

    1. Madeline! I have to say, for being a “young kid” you are an awesome writer! I hope you do something with that!

      To your questions: I am hearing in your story that you are right where you should be as an adolescent. Trying to figure out how people work, and who you are, and how you should handle things. I agree, this is very confusing and anxiety provoking stuff.

      I think the best thing you could do right now is to either let your parents know that you’d like some support in this “figuring people out” area, or if you don’t feel comfortable with that, reach out to the guidance counselor at your school. Let them know that you’re really interested in having a place to talk through all these important things and that you’d like to get feedback and guidance on how to handle these kinds of challenging and ambiguous relationship situations.

      Ideally, they might help you get involved with a good local therapist who can answer your questions, spend time with you figuring out what is going on and how to handle it, assist you in helping skills and confidence in dealing with other kids, and they might also have even more resources for you like good books or groups.

      Figuring people out (and how to handle them) is a lifelong learning process Madeline, and I think it is SO awesome that you are asking these kinds of questions and are searching around for ways to learn more. I bet you are surrounded by support and learning opportunities, and I hope you ask for what you need from the people who love you. My guess is that they’d be so glad to help you.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Lisa Marie Bobby

      Ps: Keep up the writing! 🙂

  27. Hi, I’m hoping i can get an answer or something that would lead me at ease.
    We’re together for 2 years now, I’ve change things for her for us to stay. Every time we have argument or misunderstandings i make sure to listen, she does as well (i guess).
    However lately i feel like i lost myself, I’m giving all my time, hours seconds to her, talking all day (phone, visiting her) because I’m sure i love her until i met someone from work. The very first day i knew something up, and she had that feeling too (considering she’s into a 6years relationship)
    It never happened to me before, feeling something special for someone that fast.. making me feel all the guilt coz I know I’m cheating on my partner in a way of sweet talks with someone else. We just clicked from the moment we talked. I cant sleep thinking about it/us.
    And now, I’m thinking of being open to my partner.. will i choose to tell her everything or keep it with me and avoid that other girl (which is very hard)
    It is really hard to belong to someone else…

  28. I have been texting a guy since 3 months now. We work in the same company but in different cities. We have been to 2 dates. The guy isisted me to visit his city for the 3rd date and have a night stay with him. I was hesitant earlier but he convinced me after requesting 3-4 times. I went to meet him but he did not show up. Later in the day he called me and told me he wont be able to make it due to family issues and asked me to go back. I’m not sure whether he is being honest. I somehow cant trust him anymore as he has cancelled dates earlier as well (however he cancelled before plans were made back then). Please help.

  29. My exgirlfriend and i have a son and we broke up. i am trying to win her back and show her that i have changed however she just started to date a new guy and tells me she wants to “marry him” and that shes in love with him when she was just with another guy last month. I am suppose to be going to see her soon and i am worried she is gonna either bring him or hes gonna lead her on into bringing him so i can not talk to her. i am trying to win her back and be with her and my son since shes in cali and im in colorado

  30. Hello me and my gf have known each other since 2007 we had gone through alot of things together from being poor to having an addiction together to finally becoming sober together and then about a year after becoming sober this is about 2014 we had a daughter me and her did not agree on having a child in our position she decided to have our daughter and her mom told her that she would take care of everything now her mom stopped and left her on her own about 6 months in then I took over everything paid all the bills and moved toy parents because I was still upset that she had found a newrelatioship which she kept a secret I mean I was at the house from 6pm to 10-11 most night and my days off I was there doing things with her and my daughter until sleeping time then about 1 year and half ago me and her went and celebrate our birthdays and we decided that we are going to work on things again we don’t have a lot of time as I work all day and she is a mother all day and my daughter requires extra attention I was able to book us a vacation in December we went on the vacation at first she was very cold to me but by the end of the vacation she was getting closer to me and when we left we planned on doing a lot of things to have a better future for us and our daughter then few weeks ago I spend the night for New year’s she was very cold to me again and I was upset so I told her kn the morning that she is very cold and Everytime I spend anytime with her she tell me that she is tired or something similar now after that the next day I went by the house saw the guy that she said she wasn’t really dating or anything there so I said somethings that were harsh in msg and made her ultimatum and she basically told me that we could never be together but then few days later as she saw how devestated I was she had me stay there last night still very cold and she still wants me to carry all the financial things with her but tells me I’m not sure if I’m going to be with that guy forever but I know we aren’t gonna work but she keeps going back and forth she wants me to be there as a friend and co parent but she will contact me daily to ask how my days are going I will sleep over from.time to time at their house but we aren’t intimate well last night was the first time I was back there since Jan 1st and both times we weren’t intimate but about 2 weeks before that she told.me her self that she was starting to fall for me all over again but she couldn’t let her self feel like that I really want this to work I want my family back and to be the best father to.my daughter please help me figure out what to do.

    Thank you

  31. What does it mean when a girl doesn’t look away from your eyes even if you looked away a couple times but still looked at her again as we were talking?

  32. My husband and I have been together 8 years married 6. He works a few hours away so the only time we have together during the week is the hour before bed. He is a driver and gets bored so during the day he calls. He calls me in the morning when I wake up. He calls after the kids leave for school. He calls before I head to work. Sometimes I answer sometimes I don’t. When I don’t answer he will call over and over like 5 or 6 times sometimes non stop until I pick up. Today we had a fight. I picked up after the 5th call with an attitude. I had told him 2 hours earlier I was going to take midol and lay down. I would call when I woke up. I told him he was inconsiderate and selfish. Firstly because I said I’d call when I woke. Secondly because I feel he’s basically forcing me to talk because if I don’t answer he will just keep calling. All because he wants to talk. He told me I’m the selfish rude one because I don’t answer and don’t want to talk when he was only calling to ask how I was feeling. The way I see it the whole situation aside it’s just plain rude to blow up someone’s phone but I already know what he will say to that it’s just plain rude to ignore your husband or not answer his calls. What do I do? Am I wrong or is he?

    1. Nicole, I’m not sure I have an opinion on the question of who is right or wrong here, but what I am hearing between the lines is that your relationship is not feeling emotionally safe for either of your right now. You are both needing to feel loved and respected, and getting into power struggles about who’s needs and feelings are more important. This type of dynamic can create a fast downward spiral that can destroy a relationship. This type of interaction can be difficult to sort through without professional help. I would encourage you to consider getting involved in effective marriage counseling in order to repair your bond, restore your communication, and create a healthy balance in your marriage. At the very least, consider listening to this podcast about couples communication for some tips. Wishing you all the best, Lisa Marie Bobby

  33. I’m male in my early 50’s that recently has started a new job and after 2 months i have a single middle aged female boss that keeps putting her hands on me.
    So far she has had her hand on the middle of my back rubbing me straight up and down the middle of my back while we were talking one day when i first started the job, after that 5 other things have happened that include, Coming up from behind me at work and putting both her hands around my neck for making a data entry mistake, Coming up from behind me and patting me on the back as she walked by me while i was working, Coming up from behind me and bumping her hand on my thigh to talk to me, She even slapped me one day for making a mistake and has also asked me to dance with her at work and she is just real flirty with me but, the problem is, I started to have feelings for her and told her so and now she has turned absolutely ice cold and angry.
    I’m totally in disbelieve to her reaction to my real feeling towards her.

  34. This guy, we’ll say his name is Mike for the sake of this story, I met him my freshman, his sophomore year of college. We met playing sand volleyball together and ironically, I ended up having a small crush on his best friend. That obviously did not work out. Mike and I had never had a conversation but when we would see each other around campus, we would say ‘hi’ to one another.
    Cut to my junior, his senior year of college, we were both playing IM volleyball and both of our teams had made it to the championship game. We would see each other at the rec center and once again, we would just say ‘hi’ but that was it. A few weeks into the season, he randomly followed me on Twitter. I was curious, why Twitter of all social media? Almost two weeks later, I decided to DM him and just say hi and hope that he was doing well. What I thought was going to be a short-lived conversation of a few texts back and forth, turned out to be a FANTASTIC conversation. I’m talking responding almost right away, double and triple texting from him, and then him giving me HIS number. I was shocked to say the least! From there, we ended up carrying over the same energy into the same conversation over text.
    That summer, we started to hang out more, sometimes as a group and sometimes one on one. When we would talk, 5 hours would pass at a time and it would feel like 15 minutes had passed. Mike even said to me before that he would always have a hard time trying to get to start new conversations with people but he never had that problem with me. We started to text more often and when we would hang out, it was always good quality time spent together.
    Mike started to do the little things for me and I didn’t even realize it. He would text and ask how my friends were doing and then completely segway the conversation back to me just to have a reason to talk to me. He would ask if I was hungry and offer to get me food; he would pay for my dinner when I wouldnt even ask; open doors for me when we would go places; he would remember little details of the most mundane topics that I would talk about; he would always be there to listen to me and then send me inspirational tweets to cheer me up; he would always try and make me laugh; there were a couple of times that I had thought I would catch him looking at me out of the corner of my eye; and there were a couple of hugs that I thought were filled with a little bit more sexual tension than most- and he would always pull me into him so he could feel my chest against his.
    All of these things seemed very promising to me. Or at least I thought so. Over the last six months, it was getting to the point where we were talking just about every single day, over text, snapchat, insta, FaceTime, literally every form of social media. There were even times that I also thought that Mike was flirting with me and hell, I went along with it.
    Mike is known by all of his friends to be the nice guy, the dad of the friend group.They’ve told me multiple times that he was pretty dense when it came to girls and that I would need to be as straightforward with Mike as possible, which made sense why there were some times that I felt like things were super good and other times where I couldn’t tell where his feelings lied. Mike is also one of the most wholesome men I have ever met. He doesn’t sleep around, does all the nice things that I already mentioned above and just genuinely cares about me so, so much. He’s also never been in a relationship either and he is a year older than me.
    Knowing all of this, I knew I was going to be the one to put myself out there. At the beginning of January, I decided to ask him if he could see us being anything more. We get along so well, have so much in common and enjoy spending time together so I figured things would finally work out for me. My heart was racing and I waited for his reply to my text. I waited and waited. He had read it and then didn’t respond for a week later, saying that he hadn’t realized the message didn’t send. He told me that he couldn’t see us being anything more than friends but whoever ended up with me would be lucky to have me. I absolutely HATED when he said that because he basically said that I’m good enough, just not for him. I get that he’s picky but a girl hasn’t shown interest in him in YEARS and when someone, I, finally did, he still didn’t want me.
    We both agreed that we still wanted to be friends and I meant that with everything in me. Things are still fine between us with the way conversation has been going and we still talk all the time. There doesn’t seem to be any animosity either. There’s even been times where I still feel like he is flirting with me but I know he’s not because he said what he said. But I can’t help but think that.
    Looking back at the situation though, I can’t help but think how I could have read into things so wrong, how I could have been so socially inept that I read all of his signals wrong. I also keep thinking why. Why doesn’t he want me? I can’t help but think that it’s because he doesn’t think that I’m pretty because we just vibe on every single level. I keep telling myself that it’s nothing I did but I can’t shake it. I FINALLY found a good guy, someone that I could see myself being with forever even (which I know is a dangerous road to trek), and he still doesn’t want me. I’m just confused and would love some advice on what happened.

  35. Hi, I am listening to your “Listeners Questions” podcast and I have a specific question about my relationship. My boyfriend and I’s two year anniversary in coming up in less than two weeks. I would say we have had a healthy, happy, strong relationship over all. He is not always the most communicative person and he has his mood swings but all in and we have a great time together and I would consider our relationship a mature, loving one. At the very end of May I found out he cheated on me. He took a girl home from the bar with the intentions of having sex with her. There was a make out session but for multiple reasons the sex didn’t happen (supposedly). We have talked for hours and hours/days and days – evaluating our relationship. He cried. I cried (to say the least). He has been very responsive as far as every time I bring it up or have another question he is patient and answers me. He swears this was a one time thing. Yes he was drunk (not an excuse and we both have talked about that). We have decided to work things out and try to get past this. I am really trying actively to trust and most days I think I do and then I get a big flood of mistrust every now and then. I just dont know how to move past it. I am trying and I feel like he is too. But I dont want to get my heart broke AGAIN and I definitely do not want to be with someone who cheats on me. We are in love and care very deeply about each Oher. It just sucks because I feel like he ruined something we had that was good and I trusted in. Do you think this really could be a one time thing? or do you think that if he did it once he will do it again?

  36. Hi Kristen, thank you so much for your question about whether there is hope for your relationship after infidelity, or “is a cheater always a cheater?” I thought it was so good, and so relevant to others that I addressed it on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast: Should We Break Up Or Stay Together? I know that my opinion is one of many, but I do hope the discussion / perspective helps you make a decision about what is best for you. All the best to you, Lisa

  37. First off I want to start by saying I never ask for help when it comes to my relationship. I always try to figure it all out myself. But this time I’m at a loss. I’m 29 years old, my boyfriend’s 25, we’ve been together off and on for 3 years, (more on then off). We have had our share of ups and downs but somehow seem to make things okay between each other in the end, except for one of the biggest problems in our relationship.. Sex.. in the first month or two of our relationship it was good, we were having sex about 2 or 3 times a week and I was happy. In the past 6 months it’s dissolved to almost nothing. We went from two to three times a week, to two or three times a month, down to once a month if I’m lucky. He does not do oral sex ,he’s only performed it on me one time in our entire relationship.. although I’ve given it to him many times. I keep myself clean, shaved and smelling good. I’ve tried many different things to get him to notice me or want me sexually. But he doesn’t really touch me sexually at all. I tried to talk to him about this, he gives me a different excuse each time but I can never find a real reason or solution. I’m pretty sure he’s not cheating, and I’m pretty open sexually and I’ve suggested quite a few different things, hoping to excite him. He tries to tell me it’s not me. But he will go on porn sites and masturbate. I’ve been faithful to him throughout everything, but this is pushing me to my breaking point. I enjoy sex and I want sex with my boyfriend, but I feel deprived and I’m extremely self-conscious now. I feel as though I’m disgusting and that’s why he doesn’t want it. Please tell me what to do, I’m afraid that breaking up with him or cheating on him is going to be my next move, and that terrifies me because I love him. But how much is a person supposed to take before they crack?

  38. I have a ukrainian girl and I have had some serious trust concerns. She hid a guy friend from me for months. Chatting on the phone or messaging. Telling me she was talking to a girlfriend when I could hear a guy voice on the other end. She says this guy is like family but hid him for 3 months before admitting who he was when I finally had enough. Recently I was told late night that she was going to watch you tube and later found out she was visiting this guy. Are my concerns out of thin air or what? Am I just overly jealous?

  39. Hi Tasha. So…. It would be entirely unethical for me, or any other therapist to arm-chair quarterback and raise the possibility that your bf is a sex-addict, so I’m not going to do that. I would, however, encourage you to think about what YOU want and need (and deserve!) in a relationship. It sounds like you’re not getting it. You are young, and of an age where people start to view their partners through the lens of whether they are marriage material. Please think about the possibility that the relationship you are currently having with this person is, actually, how it will always be. Resist the temptation to speculate about how it would be, “if only.” Instead, I would strongly caution you to think about what types of things you need over the next forty years of your life in order to not wind up a bitter old woman, and act accordingly.

    Resources for you:
    “What to do when your partner has a problem”
    “Are you trapped in a codependent relationship”

    All the best,
    Lisa

  40. Hello, i am Lorenzo, and i have a question,
    I met a girl! And i asked her out, so we went together to the cinema the first time, then we went out again together and we went to a place to drink and talk and we talked a lot and laugh a lot too! Then she said to me that she wanted to do it slowly, so i said okey me too i want that it goes slowly as well!
    So the next time she went to my home and we ate bbq! Everything was fine and we had a moment that we could kiss but we didnt do it! I know its stupid but yeah!
    Than we went out to the city and we stayed all day long walking, and you remember that she said that she wanted to do it slowly! But she took tje first steps that day walking she looked at me smiling and she took my hand so we walked hand in hand a good beggining, then sometimes she came like closer to me with her head when we were walking you know!
    And then later that evening she stepped out of the car and she kissed me! And she asked me is it now official! And i said yes it is! So we went very happy to home with a big smile on our faces!
    But then a few days later she went to Germany to visit someone and now she sais she does not want to be in a relationschip anymore! That she does not want it! But i dont understandt that!
    So i did not speek to her for a week! And now i began texting with her again but normal! Normal texting! After a week!
    So now i really dont know what to do should i ask her out again or should i wait a bit more!
    Please help me! It was one of the best days of my life that friday evening!

    And if that can help you!
    I think the problem with her is that she sometimes chooses to be with me and other times not ! That she does not know what to choose from !
    And thats why i dont know what i should do next!

  41. Hi I’m Claire my ex and I dated as kids for 7yrs broken up 25yrs on were back together only hes said he’s only with me now as I’m poorly and will never open up or show feelings as I hurt him in our past by ending it if I wasn’t ill he’d not be here now what do I do help me please

  42. My boyfriend of 3 years bought me a gold necklace for my birthday and months later we got into a big fight and “broke up” for only a day……. and we got back together the next day but he never gave me my necklace back. I haven’t said anything about in hopes he will just give it back without me asking. But we recently got into another huge fight and I mentioned that I wanted my necklace back and he refused to give it to me. And once again we got back together after a day or two and he hasn’t given me my necklaces and I feel weird about asking for them since he is the one that bought them and ripped them off my neck in the heat of the moment. I just don’t know what to do should I not get back with him for doing that to me ?? I really want them back and I feel like they mean so much to me and I know we’ll just get in another fight and I might not ever get them back again. Ps we have these “big fights” that seem very serious quite often. How do I make it stop or should I just give it all up.

  43. Peter… so sorry. I mean, from my experience as a couples counselor and relationship coach, I’m always aware that there are two sides to every story and I always caution people away from making assumptions. And, at the same time, if the things that you’re describing are happening in your relationship… that sounds pretty bad. I don’t think you’re being overly jealous. I would feel pretty bad too, if I were in your shoes.

    When you learn that someone is not trustworthy it’s generally a bad idea to continue moving forward. This may be a sign it’s time to back away from this relationship. If she’s insisting that it’s all above board, I would strongly encourage you two to get involved in some good couples counseling. I think it will be hard for you to feel emotionally safe in this relationship unless some significant changes are made. My two cents!

    All the best to you,
    Lisa Marie Bobby

  44. Hi Dr. Lisa, I recently found out my wife was secretly texting her ex talking about one day being together and talking baby names. I tryed ending our relationship but turns out she’s now pregnant with our fourth child.

    I really want to leave but can’t because I don’t know how i could afford to help her with her rent and also pay my own rent.

    We’ve had a very troublesome relationship these past four years out of the ten we’ve been together due to my incarceration and her infidelity. I paroled to our old apt. because she insisted I stay there. It wasn’t hard to see that we would eventually hook up again even though she was in a relationship with someone else.

    After months of back and forth cheating we finally decided to do things right and be exclusive. We got a bigger more pricier apt. Together and things were going pretty well until I recently found out she was secretly in contact with her ex.

    I read her texts with the ex and there was talk about one day being together and talk about baby names. She lies to him and says we’re not together and that she’s single. After confronting her I tried to end it but she then tells me that she is pregnant with our child.

    It’s pretty obvious this is not a relationship worth saving but I feel stuck. Tied down. I would love to hear your opinion on this Doctor.

    Sincerely Christian.

  45. Hi! I hope you can help me. I never been in a relationship before. I used to like a guy but not really like him. I just like to look at him sometimes. I don’t hope for more. But what suprise me is he likes me. He said it often cause we always like tease each other and he is a friendly guy, so he does’nt scared to tell me that. We always play around. I’m scared if he confess to me seriously one day and ask me, if i want to be in a relationship with him or not. I’m not ready to be in any relationship but i don’t want to reject him. What i have to do???

  46. My girfriend and i have been together for 2 and a half years. We decided to have a baby very early in our relationship. Hes 1 now and since she got pregnant until now, the sex has been almost non existant. On top of that her mood towards me is almost always negative and the only time we get which is very little. She spends talking about her work. Ive been very patient and supportive but ifeel like im not getting what i need from this relationship and it seems to be slipping slowly but surely. When i bring up sex she is almost always quick to become almost offended and very turned off. I kmow its a complicated issue whwn dealing with pregnancy, hormones, and the effects on a womans mind and body but at some point should she be “taking one for the team” even if shes not 100 percent into it? Just seems no mateer how i bring this up i spund like a jerk…

  47. Me and my girlfriend of 7 years broke up. We have a kid and a house together. I moved out shortly after the break up and she started dating a guy fairly quickly. That only lasted about 3 months and then she started texting and calling me more, invited me to concerts and we even ended up having sex on 3 different occasions. When I approached her about the hot and cold actions she tried to brush them to the side and said she wasn’t trying to give me false impressions. For a month she was always contacting me first, asking me to hangout and even got mad when I denied her sex the first time. I don’t know what to think or do. Any advice would help.

  48. Me and my girlfriend are currently 2 weeks into a break that we decided to take. She wanted it because of stress from school, and not seeing her friends enough. I was giving her space and barely talking to her until the other night when someone told me that she was hanging out with her previous ex. I asked her about it and she denied it and then I tried to arrange a time where we could meet up and talk but she says she is busy. I’m pretty sure I made her mad by asking about what I was told. I don’t know what to do now, as I don’t want to lose her for good.

  49. Hi Lorenzo. Okay so first of all: You are the cutest person who has ever posted a comment on this blog ever. You win! You sound like such a sweet young person.

    As for your question: I hear how much you really liked this girl and how excited you were when it seemed like she liked you back. It’s so confusing when you have good experiences with someone and then their feelings seem to shift, isn’t it? Unfortunately my magic 8 ball is broken so I cannot tell you what will happen here.

    What I CAN share is that people often have ambivalence in new relationships, and she may very well be torn between her enjoyment of you, and her attachment to someone else. (IDK if the person she visited in Germany was an old flame?) I often speak with people who are dating again after having ended a relationship, and honestly, sometimes they’re out there meeting people, flirting and dating before they are emotionally ready to do so. This can create a lot of confusion for the people they’re seeing who ARE ready to get involved with them. Of course, all of this is random speculation for what may be going on with her.

    But let’s talk about you: You can’t control anyone besides yourself, and certainly not how people feel. If you’re really interested in her, it may be a good strategy to play it cool and lower your expectations for this. If you talk, text or hang out, keep it light and whatever you do don’t be needy or make her uncomfortable with “let’s talk about us” questions. She is clearly not anywhere near that. Perhaps, over time, she may work through whatever ambivalence she has and decide that she wants to be with you.

    However… in these situations, as you’re experiencing, the “maybe” person has a lot of power. This can make you feel like you’re kind of dangling on the end of a string waiting for her to make up her mind. This is not a good feeling Lorenzo, as you know. It’s also okay to decide for yourself that you would like to be in a relationship with someone who really likes you and who is exited to be with you, and to start exploring other options. I’d hate to think of you waiting around too long for someone to figure out their stuff (and feeling bad in the process), when you could be enjoying time with somebody who is eager to date you. Furthermore, your dating other people subtly communicates that you are a valuable, attractive potential partner who has lots of options. Your taking your power back and stepping away from this may help her feel more motivated to move closer. And if not, you’ll still be in a good place.

    Your super-cute self deserves that! xo, Lisa

  50. Hi Claire, thanks for writing. It sounds like there is a lot of water under this here bridge. I’m hearing that there has been trust broken on both sides. I can’t imagine it feels good for you to be with someone who’s “just here because you’re ill.” I would strongly encourage you to explore couples counseling with someone who can help you talk about what happened. I hope that you will be able to mend your bond and develop a healthier relationship with this person. If you’d like to get started in private couples counseling, here’s a link to schedule a free consultation session with one of the couples therapists on our team. Wishing you all the best, Lisa

  51. Paris, forgive me for saying this, but what you’re describing does not sound like a very healthy relationship. It sounds like a pretty toxic relationship. I’m hearing about big dramatic (violent?) fights, spiteful breakups, weird passive-aggressive power and control things, withholding things that are important to you, and you feeling fearful to bring up things for fear of getting into another crap-show fight.

    What are you getting out of this?

    I’m going to go turbo-shrink on you: I wonder if your desire for these necklaces — the ones you can’t have, because someone gives and then takes them back and holds them over you — is some kind of symbolic symbol for what you want out of this relationship that you can’t have either. You deserve to be respected. You deserve not to be screwed with. You deserve to be able to talk to someone openly. These necklaces are symbolic of love and commitment that is given and then taken away again to punish you. I think you want these necklaces because you really want a solid gold, trustworthy, valuable relationship instead of one where you’re manipulated and jerked around.

    New idea: These golden necklaces are chains. Set yourself free from this bullsh**t Paris. Consider listening to this podcast about how to leave a toxic relationship with your dignity intact. If talking to someone about your patterns in relationships (including your relationship with yourself) would be helpful I invite you to schedule a consultation with someone on our team.

    You deserve better than this!

    xoxo, Lisa Marie Bobby

  52. Christian, you are confronting many issues here, both in your relationship and in your life. Infidelity (on both sides), incarceration, commitment issues. I hear you saying that you feel like the relationship isn’t worth saving, which may be true, but you have children together so you’re going to have a relationship with her for many years whether or not it’s romantic.

    My advice (in order):

    1) Stop having sex with this person immediately, and move her to the “person I had children with who I treat with respect” category as opposed to romantic partner category.

    2) Get yourself into career counseling or vocational training so that you have income to support yourself and your children, and are not feeling “trapped” by your financial circumstances (or tempted to get re-involved with whatever it was that originally led to your incarceration).

    3) Forget about romantic relationships for the near future. No dating. Put all your energy into getting your act together so that you can be a great father for them. Your kid’s mom sounds like a chaotic mess, so they really, really need you to step up. You have FOUR little, vulnerable people who need you to be reliable, trustworthy, responsible, and absolutely devoted to doing whatever it takes to help them build the kind of foundation that will enable them to have happy, successful lives. Talk to them. Be present. Help them with homework. Cook for them and pack their lunches. Go grocery shopping. Get them to school on time. Enroll them in positive activities. Be supportive and emotionally available. Here are a bunch of parenting resources for you: https://www.positivediscipline.com/

    4) Parent, work and sleep. That’s your life now Christian. It may sound boring, but it’s the path of redemption. This is really not about you anymore. However, in devoting your life to the wellbeing of the children who are depending on you, you just might find your own.

    Wishing you and your family all the best,
    Lisa Marie Bobby

  53. Hi Claire, thanks for reaching out. The quickest way to get relationship advice specific to your situation is to meet with our on call coach for a “Solution Session.” This is basically a single-serve solution focused coaching session. You can talk about what’s going on, and your coach will discuss options with you and help you craft an action plan. (Then they’ll email you your action plan after your session so you have a roadmap for next steps). Here’s the link to learn more about our Solution Sessions, and to get in touch with our on-call coach. Get Advice: Talk to Our On Call Coach

  54. Tough situation: On the one hand it sounds like you enjoy this person as a friend, but you’re concerned that he might like you and want a romantic relationship with you. It’s fun to play and flirt, but I’m also hearing that you don’t want to lead him on. I wonder if a good middle path would be for you to stay friendly (but not flirty), and trust that if / when the time comes you will be able to say, “I like you as a friend but not romantically” in a kind yet firm way. You can do this! When you trust in your own competence to manage challenging situations, you don’t have to worry. You got this! LMB

  55. This is a hard situation. Many (most? ALL?) couples struggle, at least to a degree, with sexuality in the years following childbirth. Your partner may be feeling totally “touched out,” exhausted, and — believe it or not — sexual intercourse can be extremely painful for women who are nursing or pregnant. (A physician once told me, “Nature does not want a woman to get pregnant again soon, and has some effective ways of preventing that from happening!”)

    I’m also hearing that you miss her and are wanting to feel connected with her again. Also super common. I would recommend a couple of resources for you. First of all, you might consider enrolling in our Online Postpartum Support Group, to get guidance and support around these common concerns. Here’s the link to learn more and enroll. Private couples counseling might also be really helpful to you, particularly with a counselor trained in Sex Therapy. At Growing Self, my colleague Dori Bagi would be a great choice. (She is trained in Sex Therapy). At the very least, you can schedule a free consultation with her and see how that goes.

    I hope those options are helpful to you and your partner Isiah. It sounds like you are building a family and a future together, and investing in your relationship now will help you create a lifetime of love together and a solid foundation for your children. All the best, Lisa

  56. I lied to my boyfriend(23) in the beginning of our relationship about things that I’ve “done” with past partners when I’ve never been in a relationship or even talked to a male before him, I’m very insecure. I told him the truth after a year because I wasn’t sure how to tell him sooner. Now he thinks that I am a compulsive liar and he constantly asks me the same questions and I am always open and honest about everything. Its gotten to the point where he asks me if I have been in a relationship before him and will I be in a relationship in the future. He gets upset over the simplest things and he leaves, and says he suffers being with me but he can’t live without me and comes back so that we can work things out. During the times when he asks me not to talk to him or he ignore my texts and calls then he says that I’ve been with someone or done something when he’s the only person I’ve ever been with or talk to besides family. When we are trying to work out the relationship he thinks that everything that I say has a different meaning or if I don’t say something exactly like he wants to hear it, we are arguing again and going back in the same cycle. He has just recently told me that his last relationships never last because he doesn’t trust anyone and he thinks what he wants to think and believe. He’s also said that he can’t forgive or let go. We love each other so much, we talk about marriage, kids and pursuing our goals together very often. What should I do?

  57. Hi. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 3 years now. For the most part our relationship is pretty average and happy. The problem is that every time he drinks things go wrong. When he drinks he has a hard time knowing when to stop drinking before he gets too drunk, and even when I ask him to try his hardest not to not blackout he does anyway. When he gets to this phase he either completely forgets that I exist and goes off with his friends and leaves me behind, or if I try to stop him he gets really mean and says really horrible things to me and we get in a fight. Is there any advice that you could give me? I’m desperate and feel like I’m out of options. I love him when he’s sober but I truly think I hate the person he is when he’s drunk

  58. Hi, I don’t know what to do. I was with this boy for 3 years and he broke up wth me about 6 moths ago and appeared to move on very quick while I was heartbroken, he started talking to another girl within a week. However 3 months ago he begged for me back and we started going on lots of dates again and I was excited for it to work. But 3 months on he still he won’t tell anyone about us because he thinks he will lose his friends (because he spoke so badly about me in the break up). I went to speak to him and he made me look crazy telling them he hadn’t spoken to me. He also made a lot of my friends turn on me because of this incident and became very close with them which is hard. He said “you only want me to tell them so they hate me too”! He also won’t tell his parents because apparently they won’t approve cause ‘breaking up and getting back together is stupid’. I asked when he will tell them and he said ‘I don’t know I don’t have to think about that right now’ it makes me think he doesn’t care and it’s really hurting me. He also says ‘I care about you a lot’ instead of saying I love you. This is so hurtful but he says he wants to see consistancy before he says it i.e I stop arguing about him telling people. He also won’t go in public with me,in town for example, he says it’s because ‘we aren’t right yet’ but I know it’s because he doesn’t want people to see. This upsets me because he goes out with aevrryone else except me. All of this is hurting me so much because I really love him and I thought he had realised he loved me because he was crying to get me back. However I recognise I can’t live like this. I tried to tell him how I feel but he returned it with how he doesn’t like that I cause arguments like before but I’m only upset due to what I mentioned above. He also says I worry to much but I get upset with him clubbing with my old friends and spending lots of time with them and the girl he started to talk to. After we broke up he became very popular and presented me in a an awful way and himself in an amazing wsy, neither being true. We aren’t official and that hurts because he clearly isn’t committing to anything. It’s hurting me so much because we were together such a long time. I don’t know what to do. Should I end it and walk away or is there anyway to get him to listen to me and understand where I’m coming from? Is there anyway to get him to agree to what I said? Am I being over sensitive? Is there a way to become stronger? Sorry for all the questions I’m so confused and upset. Thank you x

  59. Hi Lisa, I am from India. I am in love with a guy who is also one of my best friends. We studied together in college and we have been in touch and go on trips together often even after college ended and our working lives began. We share everything about our daily lives, talk or text each other everyday and my parents know him as my friend and vice versa. He is free spirited and he travels a lot on days he is not working. We usually go on trips with our friends and he flirts playfully with me around everyone. Just the two of us had went on a few trips together and on all of these trips we slept with each other. But when I asked him about us he said he doesn’t want to give any commitment and isn’t “in love” with me and I am becoming too serious. That he is attracted to me but doesn’t think long term and said he wants to move to Canada and settle down there. I said I would move with him but he just said that I’ll find someone much better than him and he doesn’t understand why I am in love with him. I have asked him twice about getting into a serious relationship. But he said the same thing. Also, he looks for approval from his mom and I know because I am friends with his ex and he had broken up with her after 1 month because his mom didn’t approve of her. We are still best of friends and still talk or text each other everyday. I am still in love with this guy and it pains me to talk to him everyday and realize that he wouldn’t say anything that shows that he cares about me. I don’t understand where the problem lies , if he is attracted to me, why does he not like me? Should I just forget him or pursue him?

  60. Hello. Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 4years now. We have a 1yr 6month old baby. Ive asked him when will we get married but he says we still have alot of time for that. I’m thinking he doesn’t want to. We have our arguments and our happiness moments but sometimes i feel this relationship is going to end at any point. When we argue he doesn’t communicate as much he just perfers to say “ok” or “bye”. What should I do?

  61. Kelly thank you so much for reaching out with this question. I hear how much you love him and want this to work, and how concerned you are about his substance use. I thought your question was so great I actually posed it to a recent guest of mine on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast who happens to be a Master Addictions Counselor, among other things. Here’s what he had to say: https://www.growingself.com/how-to-get-your-needs-met-in-a-relationship/ I hope that this relationship advice helps you get your needs met in your relationship! All the best to you, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

  62. Hey my name is sophie, my boyfriend of four yrs broke up with me recently nd i want to give back all his presents tht he gave me and everything with it. Part of everything he gave me i was thinking to take all our pictures nd putting it in a flash drive usb nd sending ot to him with his stuff that he gave me. Is that a bad idea?

  63. Preity, I feel for how much you care about this person. Clearly he is a cherished friend and I can understand how you’d be feeling very hopeful given the contact you have with him. However, for whatever reason, he does not feel the same way about you. Men who are into a woman will move mountains to make it known. You deserve better than having to harass someone into being with you. My guess is that he really appreciates your friendship, and cares about you in that way, and would hate to lose that. However, the downside is that your attachment to an unavailable person is preventing you from finding a relationship with someone who does want to be with you. My advice is to start actively dating. If it’s hard for you to do that will still maintaining such close contact with this fella… might be time to let him go. Good luck with things. LMB

  64. Hi. I am currently in a very confusing place in my relationship. My boyfriend of 4 years refuses to talk after we had an argument over a very minor issue (I read his message but did not reply as we were having a but of a tiff via text. His last message to me was that he would “say a few things but not now” to which I did not reply ). I called him 3 days later to ask if we could talk about the issue in person and he suddenly started lashing out at me, saying he always has to make things right. He was extremely rude and condescending towards me, screaming and swearing. He then said that it wouldn’t be a good idea to speak as his emotions are running high.. It has now been over a week that we have had no contact. I am left hanging and confused as to where we stand in our relationship, or if this is the end of us. Please help. I have seen a different side of him in that argument and I am scared to continue a relationship with him.

  65. There are no right or wrongs here Sophie. I’m hearing that you wish to communicate something to him through these actions, and you have the right to express your feelings.

  66. Hi, I’m Sabrina. My girlfriend and I have been dating for two and a half years. She has a few problems and needs a lot of reassurance, which I try to give as much as I can. But I go through these spells where I don’t want to be touched, where I feel suffocated if I am. She always takes it personally, even though I’ve told her repeatedly that it’s not her fault, sometimes I just don’t like contact. Is there anything I can do? I don’t like upsetting her. Should I just suck it up and do it anyway? I’m at a loss here. I don’t know what to do.

  67. Ria, thanks for your question. This is a good one: I may answer it on an upcoming episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, or by video. If you’re on Instagram, please follow me at Instagram.com/drlisamariebobby — I always post there when I publish a new podcast or answer a listener question!

    But for now: In my experience, the only time people really do not make sense is when you don’t have all the information. There is more to this story that you don’t know about yet. You got a little peek when he freaked out.

    I would strongly advise that you get involved in couples counseling. He needs to come clean about what is happening for him, and for whatever reason he hasn’t been letting you into how he is really feeling. It may be that he (as many men do) struggles with figuring out how to communicate dark emotions, and that they’re piling up inside of him.

    For some people, who don’t get any intervention or support from couples therapy, they decide that breaking up is easier / emotionally safer / preferable to dealing with all the feelings and attempting to create positive change in their relationship.

    I hope that this isn’t the case for you two. If you haven’t already, I do hope you consider making an appointment with a good couples counselor to see what the heck is going on, and if it can be worked through.

    Holding hope for you!

    Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

  68. Hello so recently I traveled for almost two weeks my boyfriend was using my laptop I checked the browser I seen he was on his ex page and this wasn’t the first time. Than a girl he was talking to he was liking all her pics online. Than he was watching porn a lot. When I came back n we had sex he took so long and it was just awful cause he couldn’t cum and I thought it was me. He went to go visit family and the first thing he did when he got there was write a girl who used to talk too, and he wrote her on snap because he didn’t think I would have seen it smh. I broke up with him and we live together and idk what to do

  69. I am in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost two years and things used to be so good. He is a teacher and used to work and live in London when I lived in th West if Ireland. He moved back last summer when he got a job in Dublin and I thought the main reason for this was for me. The last few months have been very tough he doesn’t message me as often during the day as he did, when we meet up he spends a lot of time on his phone and there can be a lot of silences. Last weekend I was up staying with him in Dublin and he went to the gym both mornings which upset me I felt like he didn’t want to spend time with me so I said it to him and he got annoyed saying why didn’t you tell me at the time. He eventually said let’s just forget about it and move on but I feel he’s not been the same with me and still sounds mad, he never gives emojis in messages anymore either and he always used to! Then he had to make his mind up about a job next year whether he’d keep the one in Dublin again or try to get one closer. He decided to take the one in Dublin for another year without asking my opinion and never even told me until I asked him if he’d made a decision which really upset me I thought my opinion would at least matter to him! Also he never bought me a valentines gift this year and when I said it to him he said he didn’t think we were doing presents this year even though we always did! I also think he tells me white lies about small things every now and again! I really don’t know if I’m been paranoid or do you think the relationship sounds like it’s over? Thanks

  70. I’ve traveled to another state to see a guy friend of mine we were talking for like a year we saw each other before and I basically cam to spend time with him for the summer time I came since May and the month is almost over and I’m really trying to see him but he’s always telling me he got plans with his other friends and its really bothering me we are trying to build a relationship but too me he’s really not making the effort to come to see me I really don’t know 🙁

    we also facetime each other every day he mostly calls me all the time.

  71. Ex-boyfriend

    Hello! I’m Valerie. I’m 28 years old and I just got married a little over a month ago. He’s an amazing person and husband, and my second relationship.
    Im writing because I’m having trouble letting go of my past relationship. Basically, we met online through the blog site Tumblr and began “dating” right away, despite the fact that we lived in different countries. We were together three years and for one reason or another, never got to see each other. We did Skype, so I knew I wasn’t being catfished. He was a HUGE introvert who hated talking and writing, talking about himself or answering questions, which made interaction very difficult and mostly infrequent. I felt like I was in the relationship alone. We took a break once a year. The final time, he didn’t write and ignored me for three months, so I told him that was too painful and asked him to let me know when he was ready to talk. His words were “Will do”.
    Next thing I knew, just a month or two afterwards, I saw him on a Facebook picture with a girl. When I emailed him, he admitted it was his girlfriend. I was obviously shocked and devastated. I cried myself to sleep for weeks and didn’t start dating again for a year, until I met my husband.
    My ex went on to marry this girl and have kids with her. I mostly stopped thinking about him until he wrote me out of nowhere one day to apologize for how he treated me. Then i was back to thinking about him frequently. Then it got worse when I got engaged and because a daily thing where I just think about him and have imaginary conversations with him all the time.
    Now I know I barely interacted with this person and likely idealized him into this version that I love. I asked him if we could meet, but it was too far. Then i asked if we could Skype once, just to actually interact with the real him and hopefully be thrown off. He refused because he doesn’t like interaction. I replied with a last email telling him how hurt I am and deserve better after I stuck by him all that time and treated him well, and he basically cheated while we were supposedly on a break.
    I still think of him every day. I look at some pictures I saved from his Instagram and messages he sent me. I’m truly happy he found his match in someone who can make him happy, because God knows I never could. I’m glad he has children now and purpose. I truly am.
    Yet at the same time, I feel like I was cheated. Like I was in that relationship alone, then in the heartbreak alone (because he moved on immediately) and now in missing him. It hasn’t affected my marriage or anything, thankfully. But I can’t get over the fact that this relationship meant so much to me, my first love, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I tried so unbelievably hard for three years to make it work – not only for nothing, but for him not to care at all, even to this day. I don’t think I’m in love with him romantically anymore, though I do love and care for him as a person.
    How do I get over it? I told him I was sending his emails to junk, so I don’t expect him to write ever again.
    Can I ever get closure?

  72. Hi. I am 30 and I was in a relationship foe 6 years. In March 2018 my boyfriend moved to Australia and i had plans to join him later. Since then we had a long-distance relationship and I was planning to go on a sabbatical to Germany this October and then after a year join him in Australia. Although he complained about his loneliness a few times and mentioned that I consider Australia for my sabbatical, he was supportive of my plan. He came back to visit for a month this May and during his visit we had a good time and he was loving and caring. one week after he left, we had a small issue and he suddenly said he can not take it anymore and got angry why i have left him alone. I changed my sabbatical plans for going to Australia immediately but After a few days of being cold he said he wants to break up. He said that he still loves me but i should have done something and it is too late now and that something has broken inside him and asked me not to go to Australia because he is dead inside. He said he has to leave to end his pain. I figured he has been planning it but he had doubts ( because during his visit he suggested a trip together in September) and he said that nice moments we have last month were all real and I believe him. he is a strong man and I know when he says something he means it. I still love him and if he had asked me seriously I would have definitely planned on going to Australia. He also mentioned that he wants us to be friends and said i let him know if I need anything. He said that he is also hurting so much from the break up and said he is leaving his roomie to be alone because without me he wants no other one around him. What should I do now? Should I fight for him or should I let go?

  73. I have been dating my boyfriend for a while and we are about to hit a month on August 8th. I personally think he is avoiding me and I dont know why, I told my sister about it and she told me that all the signs were there and that he was in fact avoiding me. The thing is that he does text me saying goodmorning and I love you to me but I reply back to him and he just takes too long to respond or just doesn’t open it till he wants to. I texted him and his cousin and he doesn’t reply to me so I just ask his cousin if he is busy and his cousin tells me that he is not busy that he just texted her. I thought to myself that his cousin was probably lying. I was wrong. The same thing happened but that time he was texting my own brother and I had texted him after my brother had sent him a message and it turns out that he answers my brother but he doesn’t answer me. I have tried to fix things with him and talk about it with him but, he either changes the subject or tells me that he is busy but that he still tries to text me anyways. I need some advice because I am out of ideas and I just dont know what to do or how to fix things. I really want this relationship to work because he is a really nice guy and is very respectful. We just started dating and if I did break up with him I dont want to hurt him or make him think that I was just using him as a rebound even though I haven’t dated anyone in a year. Please help me out I really want this relationship to work out and eventually get somewhere.

  74. Sabriiinnnaaaa! I liked your question so much I posed it to my colleague Dori Bagi, who is a sex therapist and who often works with couples struggling with this very issue. Here is Dori’s amazing advice for how to handle this: How to Heal Your Relationship When You Don’t Want to Be Touched. Thank you for bringing up this question, and I hope Dori’s advice helps you. If you’d like more support, you might consider meeting with Dori one-on-one (or with your girlfriend). She is really good… xo, Lisa

  75. I think that was a good call! I hope you stay committed to your values, and your decision. I recommend you take your energy away from thinking about this issue-riddled person and instead put your energy in to 1) finding a new place to live and 2) moving on. Good work!! LMB

  76. Hey Anna, I’m not sure the relationship is “over.” It sounds like it’s evolving. What you described before sounded like early stage romantic love, with a long-distance component to boot. This phase of the relationship is usually much more intense (emojis, constant texts, etc) and with the long-distance part I bet that it felt much more passionate and like you two were always craving being together. Right?

    Now, you’re in a longer term relationship where you live in the same town, and it’s settling down into a more standard-issue basic relationship, where you both have other things going on. But you’re worried that something is wrong, and feeling insecure.

    So, couple of things: Please listen to this podcast, “How to Feel More Secure in Your Relationship.” Also, you might want to do some reading into secure attachment vs anxious attachment styles and think about what may apply here?

    I wouldn’t freak out Anna — this sounds pretty normal. I hope that if you manage your anxiety, and adjust your expectations about what your relationship “should” be like, you might find out that you guys are A-OK. Sometimes, when there is less pressure on a relationship it can lower conflict dramatically. I hope that is the case for you.

    Good luck with things!

    Lisa

  77. If he’s not putting effort into things, and doesn’t have time for you it’s a pretty good indication that he may not feel the same way about you that you feel about him. Sounds like he’s getting in touch with you in ways that are convenient for him, without much regard for how you feel or what you want. This is why we date: To get to know people. Sounds like you’re getting to know this person, and the more you do, the less you’re liking this. I’d listen to that!

    Lisa

  78. Dear Lisa,
    I’m 32 and have been in a relationship with this guy for 13 years, of which we’ve been living in together for 4 years.
    We’ve had a great relationship but differences have cropped up lately, as it usually happens once you start living together.
    He’s easy going and doesnt complain much if things don’t go his way whereas I’m more vocal about what I would like. He’s a great guy, very understanding and our goals and values match. We generally laugh and have great times together.
    However, communication is a big challenge with him. I’m a great listener whereas it’s a task to get him to listen and respond to me. He says he cannot multitask and cannot listen until I grab his attention first. He says all men are like this.
    Also, of late he has stopped initiating sex. I have a higher sex drive and absolutely need it with him but he says it just doesn’t occur to him. I pointed out saying he could be losing interest or attraction towards me but he denies this. If he does comply after I usually initiate, there’s no passion and I feel he is just doing it mechanically out of obligation. I’ve been extremely helpful with his career, his other interests, I’ve even tried reducing his work stress but nothing helps.
    I’m a type A person and usually need things to be organised and dealt with immediately and he says my need for perfection is stressing him out.
    We are contemplating a break up since communication, attention and intimacy are my non-negotiables and he says he cannot meet my expectations since I’m over-expecting and his efforts are never enough for me.
    Also I’m tired of being the person in charge of things all the time since he is laid-back and i need a more responsible person to feel taken care of. He’s great at work but just doesn’t take charge at home.
    I asked him what he lacks in me and though he’s never specified this in all these years he stated the following. He says I’m not easy going, I don’t let him have the freedom of expression coz I want things to go my way, I’m an introvert and he prefers his partner to be extroverted and bold. That I don’t have the heart to forgive and cannot be his partner when it comes to taking career or financial decisions since I’m not outgoing.
    Also, He doesn’t like the way I dress since I’m not fashionable.
    This got me thinking that maybe he doesn’t initiate coz he doesn’t get attracted to me.
    I can try being a little easy on him and let him have his freedom of expression but I certainly cannot become extroverted since it’s not part of my personality.
    I don’t know what to do. He says he can still manage if I don’t fulfill these aspects but for me, I cannot manage without enough communication and intimacy.
    Please advice if I’m taking the wrong approach, if I’m expecting something out of norm, if we can still sort out our differences and have a great life together or should we just move on with our individual lives.
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Love,
    Ranji

  79. I am in a casual relationship with my colleague since 1 year. I fell deeply in love with him without even realizing it. He is my age, very charming man. I found out that he is dating another colleague of mine who is my friend. I have spoken with him about this and he told me that they broke up. But I know they didn’t. I even started hating my friend unconsciously. The fact that he is cheating on me is killing me inside. I feel miserable and extremely hurt. I tried to broke up with him several times but I couldn’t. My only wish is to stop loving him and eliminate feelings for him but the question is how? I really feel terrible..please help!
    I am separated with 2 boys, they are 20 and 14

  80. Hi, I am a young kid and REALLY would like some relationship advice. I’ll start at the beginning. Me and my ex dated three times, each of those times not lasting all that long. But every time, there are a few subtle signs he gives that he wants to get back with me. I would probably not get back with him just because of the sheer fact that he hurt me three times, but I would just like to know id these signs confirm my hunches. Fist, he always looks at me. Like eye contact and stuff. Second, he had recently followed me on Instagram and i followed him back, and within seconds this boy was accepting my requests and liking every. single. one. of. my. posts! And many of them are videos, so he couldn’t have even watched them. It is so confusing! I just really want to know how I should approach the situation and what all of it means. Oh, and he also will always stand in clear view of me, just so I have to stare at him before I can look at anything else. I was at a few games, and he just stood there, not looking at me but also standing right in front of me. He never talks to me or about me, but he does all of these simple things and more. Help, please!!

  81. Hi, I’m hoping i can get an answer or something that would lead me at ease.
    We’re together for 2 years now, I’ve change things for her for us to stay. Every time we have argument or misunderstandings i make sure to listen, she does as well (i guess).
    However lately i feel like i lost myself, I’m giving all my time, hours seconds to her, talking all day (phone, visiting her) because I’m sure i love her until i met someone from work. The very first day i knew something up, and she had that feeling too (considering she’s into a 6years relationship)
    It never happened to me before, feeling something special for someone that fast.. making me feel all the guilt coz I know I’m cheating on my partner in a way of sweet talks with someone else. We just clicked from the moment we talked. I cant sleep thinking about it/us.
    And now, I’m thinking of being open to my partner.. will i choose to tell her everything or keep it with me and avoid that other girl (which is very hard)
    It is really hard to belong to someone else…

  82. I have been texting a guy since 3 months now. We work in the same company but in different cities. We have been to 2 dates. The guy isisted me to visit his city for the 3rd date and have a night stay with him. I was hesitant earlier but he convinced me after requesting 3-4 times. I went to meet him but he did not show up. Later in the day he called me and told me he wont be able to make it due to family issues and asked me to go back. I’m not sure whether he is being honest. I somehow cant trust him anymore as he has cancelled dates earlier as well (however he cancelled before plans were made back then). Please help.

  83. My exgirlfriend and i have a son and we broke up. i am trying to win her back and show her that i have changed however she just started to date a new guy and tells me she wants to “marry him” and that shes in love with him when she was just with another guy last month. I am suppose to be going to see her soon and i am worried she is gonna either bring him or hes gonna lead her on into bringing him so i can not talk to her. i am trying to win her back and be with her and my son since shes in cali and im in colorado

  84. Valerie, what a hard situation. It sounds like you’ve really been working to “get past this” on your own, but are feeling really stuck. Have you considered doing breakup recovery coaching? It can really help get you unstuck from old patterns, and do the inner work that will help you break free from this and put it behind you. As you so well know, time alone does NOT heal this type of thing — I’d hate for you to spend three more years doing what you have been doing. I think it’s time to take action Valerie! IMO! Lisa

  85. It’s so often the case that there are things going on inside of people we love that they don’t communicate to us until it’s gotten past the point of no return. I wish it were different — so many relationship problems could be avoided or resolved if people had the courage to talk about things that feel hard to talk about. I can only speculate what else may have been going on inside of your BF, in addition to the things he was saying to you — because clearly there was more. But what you’re telling me now is that he is saying that he doesn’t want to do this with you anymore. You asked if you should “fight for this relationship.” If “fighting for the relationship” means attempting to convince him that you two should be together, I think that is an incredibly disempowering and self-esteem slaying position for you to put yourself in. You deserve to be with someone who is crazy about you. I hope you chalk this up to a learning experience and go find someone who is 1) better able to have authentic conversations with you about ALL of his feelings, and 2) who things you’re amazing. With love, Lisa

  86. Something important to keep in mind when you’re dating something new is that it’s an audition. For them. It’s a chance for you to get to know someone a little better, to see how they operate, and what it feels like to be in a relationship with them. What you’re telling me is that this is not feeling good for you, and that you’ve become aware that this person does not communicate with you the way that you would like him to.

    The LAST thing you want to do in a new relationship is start chasing someone around to pay more attention to you. That is such a disempowering position to be in.

    Your choices are to either do some work around managing your own expectations for what “should” be happening (and practicing having it be okay for people to not feel like talking to you or having other things they are paying attention to.) Or, you could decide that what would work better for you is a person who was more communicative and responsive, and then go find that.

    I’m glad that you have enough “data” after just a month to know that he is either not the right person for you, or you are not the right person for him. That is a blessing, compared to the alternative… All the best, Lisa

  87. Hey Ranji! Great questions. So, what’s coming up for me as I read this, is two things: First of all, ALL relationships (ALL RELATIONSHIPS, Ranji) have what we call “unsolvable problems.” Marriage and family researcher and thought leader Dr. John Gottman himself has done quite bit of research on this subject and has concluded that even in the very best marriages, something like 70% of issues and differences are “unsolvable.” This means that what is good about the relationship needs to outweigh the annoying parts. Only you can know what is true for you, in that regard.

    But the other thing I’m hearing in your question is that you have not sought professional help in addressing these issues, but rather have been attempting to resolve things exclusively on your own, and I’m wondering why? Communication skills training is a thing, and most couples need to work together to build their partnership and get skills that helps them both have a better experience with each other, as well as develop empathy and tolerance (and even appreciation) for differences.

    Something about the way you ask this question makes me think that you believe a relationship should have all these things “off the rack” and that is absolutely not the case. As we say around here, “fantastic relationships don’t just happen, they’re grown.” (I should trademark that, haha). But seriously, you sound like an intelligent, proactive person who cares a lot about this relationship AND that this relationship has a lot of strengths. Invest in it! Get into couples counseling or premarital counseling and get all this out on the table, and both of you can learn some new strategies to build bridges to the center.

    And, honestly, if you both sincerely do this work and at the end find that the “unsolvable problems” are bigger and more problematic than the strengths of this relationship, it will give you the information you need to part ways from a place of clarity, authenticity and mutual respect. (And honestly, from a place of love in the sense that you both care enough about each other’s genuine wellbeing that you WANT each other to create a beautiful relationship with someone who is more fundamentally compatible).

    But you cannot really know what is possible for any relationship until you do the work to find out. I hope you do it! If you’d like to get involved in premarital counseling or relationship coaching with any of the relationship experts on our team here at Growing Self, the first step in getting started is to schedule a free consultation session. Nothing to lose here Ranji, and so much to gain. Wishing you all the best, Lisa Marie Bobby

  88. Sounds like you may be addicted to a toxic relationship. If you haven’t already, you might consider reading my book, “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love” to get insight and clarity into what is going on inside of you both emotionally, and neurologically. (Knowledge is power!) In addition to educating yourself, you will probably need some effective support to help you release this unhealthy attachment so that you can move on to create a healthy one. We do a lot of this work here at Growing Self, and you are welcome to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts if you’d like to do this with us. (Look for “breakup recovery” in their bio).

    I hope you do this important work. I have met many people who have spent a long time (like, years) twisting in the agony of these types of toxic relationships, and by the time they get spat out the other side their self esteem is in shreds and they have often been profoundly traumatized. I hope that you find the strength and courage to stop this sooner rather than later.

    As I shared in my own story about a similar toxic relationship experience, the worst part for many people on the other side of this was not the betrayal they experienced at the hands of their partner… it was the way they betrayed themselves by allowing this to happen (over, and over).

    I do sincerely hope that you take action to help yourself break this attachment so that you can heal and grow, and move on to create a healthy relationship with someone who treats you well. You deserve it. (As do your children, IMO). With love, Lisa Marie Bobby

  89. Madeline! I have to say, for being a “young kid” you are an awesome writer! I hope you do something with that!

    To your questions: I am hearing in your story that you are right where you should be as an adolescent. Trying to figure out how people work, and who you are, and how you should handle things. I agree, this is very confusing and anxiety provoking stuff.

    I think the best thing you could do right now is to either let your parents know that you’d like some support in this “figuring people out” area, or if you don’t feel comfortable with that, reach out to the guidance counselor at your school. Let them know that you’re really interested in having a place to talk through all these important things and that you’d like to get feedback and guidance on how to handle these kinds of challenging and ambiguous relationship situations.

    Ideally, they might help you get involved with a good local therapist who can answer your questions, spend time with you figuring out what is going on and how to handle it, assist you in helping skills and confidence in dealing with other kids, and they might also have even more resources for you like good books or groups.

    Figuring people out (and how to handle them) is a lifelong learning process Madeline, and I think it is SO awesome that you are asking these kinds of questions and are searching around for ways to learn more. I bet you are surrounded by support and learning opportunities, and I hope you ask for what you need from the people who love you. My guess is that they’d be so glad to help you.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Lisa Marie Bobby

    Ps: Keep up the writing! 🙂

  90. Hello me and my gf have known each other since 2007 we had gone through alot of things together from being poor to having an addiction together to finally becoming sober together and then about a year after becoming sober this is about 2014 we had a daughter me and her did not agree on having a child in our position she decided to have our daughter and her mom told her that she would take care of everything now her mom stopped and left her on her own about 6 months in then I took over everything paid all the bills and moved toy parents because I was still upset that she had found a newrelatioship which she kept a secret I mean I was at the house from 6pm to 10-11 most night and my days off I was there doing things with her and my daughter until sleeping time then about 1 year and half ago me and her went and celebrate our birthdays and we decided that we are going to work on things again we don’t have a lot of time as I work all day and she is a mother all day and my daughter requires extra attention I was able to book us a vacation in December we went on the vacation at first she was very cold to me but by the end of the vacation she was getting closer to me and when we left we planned on doing a lot of things to have a better future for us and our daughter then few weeks ago I spend the night for New year’s she was very cold to me again and I was upset so I told her kn the morning that she is very cold and Everytime I spend anytime with her she tell me that she is tired or something similar now after that the next day I went by the house saw the guy that she said she wasn’t really dating or anything there so I said somethings that were harsh in msg and made her ultimatum and she basically told me that we could never be together but then few days later as she saw how devestated I was she had me stay there last night still very cold and she still wants me to carry all the financial things with her but tells me I’m not sure if I’m going to be with that guy forever but I know we aren’t gonna work but she keeps going back and forth she wants me to be there as a friend and co parent but she will contact me daily to ask how my days are going I will sleep over from.time to time at their house but we aren’t intimate well last night was the first time I was back there since Jan 1st and both times we weren’t intimate but about 2 weeks before that she told.me her self that she was starting to fall for me all over again but she couldn’t let her self feel like that I really want this to work I want my family back and to be the best father to.my daughter please help me figure out what to do.

    Thank you

  91. What does it mean when a girl doesn’t look away from your eyes even if you looked away a couple times but still looked at her again as we were talking?

  92. My husband and I have been together 8 years married 6. He works a few hours away so the only time we have together during the week is the hour before bed. He is a driver and gets bored so during the day he calls. He calls me in the morning when I wake up. He calls after the kids leave for school. He calls before I head to work. Sometimes I answer sometimes I don’t. When I don’t answer he will call over and over like 5 or 6 times sometimes non stop until I pick up. Today we had a fight. I picked up after the 5th call with an attitude. I had told him 2 hours earlier I was going to take midol and lay down. I would call when I woke up. I told him he was inconsiderate and selfish. Firstly because I said I’d call when I woke. Secondly because I feel he’s basically forcing me to talk because if I don’t answer he will just keep calling. All because he wants to talk. He told me I’m the selfish rude one because I don’t answer and don’t want to talk when he was only calling to ask how I was feeling. The way I see it the whole situation aside it’s just plain rude to blow up someone’s phone but I already know what he will say to that it’s just plain rude to ignore your husband or not answer his calls. What do I do? Am I wrong or is he?

  93. Nicole, I’m not sure I have an opinion on the question of who is right or wrong here, but what I am hearing between the lines is that your relationship is not feeling emotionally safe for either of your right now. You are both needing to feel loved and respected, and getting into power struggles about who’s needs and feelings are more important. This type of dynamic can create a fast downward spiral that can destroy a relationship. This type of interaction can be difficult to sort through without professional help. I would encourage you to consider getting involved in effective marriage counseling in order to repair your bond, restore your communication, and create a healthy balance in your marriage. At the very least, consider listening to this podcast about couples communication for some tips. Wishing you all the best, Lisa Marie Bobby

  94. I’m male in my early 50’s that recently has started a new job and after 2 months i have a single middle aged female boss that keeps putting her hands on me.
    So far she has had her hand on the middle of my back rubbing me straight up and down the middle of my back while we were talking one day when i first started the job, after that 5 other things have happened that include, Coming up from behind me at work and putting both her hands around my neck for making a data entry mistake, Coming up from behind me and patting me on the back as she walked by me while i was working, Coming up from behind me and bumping her hand on my thigh to talk to me, She even slapped me one day for making a mistake and has also asked me to dance with her at work and she is just real flirty with me but, the problem is, I started to have feelings for her and told her so and now she has turned absolutely ice cold and angry.
    I’m totally in disbelieve to her reaction to my real feeling towards her.

  95. Hello, my husband and I have been dealing with infidelity from 2009-2018. I know of 3 that he’s had affairs with lasting longer than a year. The last 2 has contacted me personally and were the ones that exposed the affairs. I kept taking him back. The last straw was 2018 when the woman waited at his job because he didn’t show up at the hotel they were supposed to meet at. This was about a year after I took him back for the last affair. Thinking he was happy and I was doing my part as well as him to fix our relationship. Since 2018 he has been preaching open and honest but I recently found that a female coworker of his that I had expressed firmly i was uncomfortable with was still in communication with him even after leaving being under his management and after leaving his office. What makes it worse is that their communications via text has been deleted claiming to protect me because I felt insecure about her. He wants me yet again to have faith in what he says but I don’t know how because he has been deleting what he’s been saying. Innocent as he says it was, he took the ability for me to judge for myself and wants me to believe he’s being truthful. How can I believe that what he’s saying is the truth when yet again he’s not being truthful? I did this whole song and dance before with him and all it has done was kick me back in my face. I don’t know what to do.

  96. What a difficult path you’ve been on Faith, I’m sorry to hear about this. I agree, it’s not possible to repair trust in a relationship with someone who has a long history of not being trustworthy, and is continuing to behave in ways that are concerning. Some may say that it’s unwise to try. Here are a couple of podcasts I’ve made that may help you get clarity about this relationship, and the best path forward for you. Healing After Infidelity, Discernment Therapy, and When to Call it Quits in a Relationship. But also please know that podcasts and blog posts, while informative, are no substitute from having a relationship with a therapist devoted to your wellbeing, and to helping you achieve clarity — particularly after all the relational traumas you’ve sustained. If you’re not currently in a relationship with a good marriage and family therapist who understands the impact of betrayal trauma as well as the power of attachment bonds, I sincerely hope you consider pursuing one. You deserve it. xoxo, Dr. Lisa

  97. Hi Dr. Lisa, My husband and I have been married for 12 years and we do not have a child yet, not a choice it’s just that we are not yet blessed with one. I have wanted to adopt but my husband does not want to since he is still hoping that I will get pregnant one day. We are both 42 years old. My husband’s sister gave birth to a baby girl last year and since the father was not supporting the baby and his sister had no job, we were the ones who bought the baby’s needs and she lived with her parents. She is 40 years old. We also took part in taking care of the baby. We love the baby as our own. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had an argument with my husband’s sister due to some issues that involved their parents. It was his sister who initiated the fight since we were being accused of something we did not do. It was a bad fight. And she was against her mother too and we sided with their mother. I felt disrespected that she had the guts to start an argument with us when we were the ones who provided for the baby’s needs. So I decided that we should stop providing for the baby and since she has the guts to start a fight with us, she should have the courage as well to stand on her own and provide for the baby. We did not talk after and we did not visit the baby as well. We had a fallout. It was painful for us since we were not able to see the baby for a month already. I felt so empty and realized that I really wanted a baby in life. So I decided to talk to my husband to convince him of adoption. Although he is okay now that we would adopt, he wants it to be done next year when we are both ready. But I have to a point in my life where I am not happy anymore and I feel like having a baby would complete me and would fill my loneliness. After a few conversations, my husband finally agreed that we will do it this year since he wants me to be happy. Now I need some advice if this is really the best step. Or maybe this is just out of emotions or loneliness due to the fallout with the family and the baby?

    1. Hey there, thanks for the question. It sounds like you and your husband are getting into alignment around bringing a child into your life, and I’m glad for that.

      I’m also hearing that you have a lot of hopes, dreams, and positive expectations about what life is a parent will be like and I agree: It’s important to get very honest with yourself and actively manage yourself differently if you’re aware that you are attempting to get your emotional needs met through your children. As a parent, it’s going to be all about them – If you’re expecting to get your cup filled by your kids you’re going to have a very bad time. (And so are they).

      At the same time, it sounds like you have clarity around your core values, and that being a parent feels like a very important part of your life path. That’s completely legitimate! Also, nobody is ever perfectly ready for a child, and waiting for “the right time” can be a manifestation of fear and avoidance. If you want to be a parent, you can make that happen. Just make sure that you understand the job description: Being completely dedicated to their growth and wellbeing. Treat the adoption process like a pregnancy, and use this preparation time to focus on the mental and emotional growth that will help you be a self aware and truly good parent to your children. Wishing you and your family all the best…

  98. Dear Dr. Lisa,

    I am writing to you seeking guidance and advice about an issue I am currently facing in my relationship. I am a 25-year-old woman studying for my Master’s in Europe and have been in a relationship with my fiancé, who is 24 and a native of this country, for two years now. Recently, we have been confronting challenges involving finances and communication, and I am unsure of the best way to address these matters.

    Before we began living together six months ago, my fiancé was evicted from a one-bedroom flat due to unpaid rent of 2,500 euros. We used my savings to settle this debt, but it has come to my attention that we haven’t legally terminated the lease on his old flat. This oversight is leading to potential legal consequences and ongoing monthly charges of 500€. The unfamiliarity with the legal system and language of this country is causing me significant distress.

    I attempted to address this matter with my fiancé recently, utilizing advice from a mutual friend who is a property manager. She advised us to terminate the lease by August 3rd legally, otherwise, the issue could drag on until 2024. Unfortunately, my fiancé reacted negatively to my intervention, insisting it was none of my business. When I showed him a legal document in his language that confirmed an email does not count as a formal lease termination, he accused me of ruining his day.

    I am deeply in love with my fiancé, but this situation has left me feeling uncertain and hurt. As we prepare for marriage, I believe our financial issues should be shared concerns, and my worries should not be dismissed. I am unsure if I’ve overstepped by pressing this issue, or if my insistence is justified.

    Dr. Lisa, I’m seeking your guidance on effectively communicating with my partner about our shared financial issues without escalating the situation. Additionally, I would appreciate advice on helping him understand the necessity of joint responsibility and cooperation in resolving our financial concerns.

    I look forward to your insight on how best to approach this situation. Thank you for your time and assistance.

    Sincerely,

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful question, Heather. That sounds like an incredibly stressful situation, and that working through it together was not easy. This is a very common problem. Many couples have conflict about money, and tensions around finances can have deep emotional roots. You are right to want to find a better way to handle finances together — this is going to be key to a strong, successful marriage.
      First, I hope you invest in high-quality premarital counseling before tying the knot. You want to work with a marriage and family therapist who will dig into finances and other parts of your relationship at a deep level, not someone who is simply taking you through a checklist. If you’d like a recommendation, reach out: https://www.growingself.com/schedule-free-consultation/
      In the meantime, it would be valuable for you and your husband to do some exploration around your financial values, how you learned to relate to money in your families of origin, and how you plan to manage it together. I have a few resources that can help you get the conversation started:
      How to talk about money without fighting
      https://www.growingself.com/financial-therapy-for-couples/
      I hope you’ll read through these and that you’ll find them helpful. Best of luck to you! xoxo Dr. Lisa

  99. Hi Dr Lisa. I have been in a relationship with my current boyfriend for just under 1.5 years now. I am currently struggling with my mental health and am busy with my university studies. Recently I have been feeling ‘out of love’ with my boyfriend, craving distance (including not wanting to meet with or speak to him) and questioning our relationship. This is despite the fact that I do love and value him. I don’t know if this is normal or if I should be concerned, and what, if anything, I should do. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sophie. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling in your relationship and with your mental health. I don’t know much about your situation, but I can tell you that some mental health conditions can contribute to feelings like what you describe. It’s also possible that you’ve simply moved past the early stage of romantic love that is characterized by strong, exciting feelings — which is a totally normal thing that happens in every long-term relationship.
      I have a resource that could help you get to the bottom of what’s happening for you: https://www.growingself.com/why-do-people-fall-out-of-love/
      Wishing you the best xoxo Dr. Lisa

  100. Hi…
    So i dated a guy for a year, almost 8 years ago…at the time of our breakup he also broke friendship with guy-friends saying they are the reason behind it. Now after these 8 years I’m talking to one of his friends ( he was my friend as well for all these years) and recently we got into relationship .
    But this ex of mine, as soon as he got to know, got offended saying friends dont do sh*t like this. In the first place he never took him as a friend and secondly we’ve had so many years apart in which the other guy liked me . But still I would want to know whether its right or wrong on my part to date him.

    1. Thanks for your comment. That sounds like a tough situation! I can’t say whether you should date this new guy or not — it depends how he treats you and how healthy your relationship with him is. I wouldn’t worry about the ex from eight years ago. Best of luck to you! xoxo Dr. Lisa

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