Breaking up: “I feel miserable and stifled as though I don’t exist in this partnership. I have to move out, but don’t want to hurt him.”

"Freedom" by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

It’s admirable that you do not want to hurt him. However, it sounds as though you are suffering and stifling a crucial part of yourself in your current situation. This is bad for your psyche, your health, and your relationship.

Is it good for your partner? NO, even though you dread his reaction.

NOT making a decision is a decision in itself, which may be damaging for both of you.

If you are absolutely clear that you need to break up, the sooner you do so, the more time both of you will have to rebuild your lives. Staying with him without a mutual desire and commitment to enhance your relationship may not be good for either of you.

Remaining in a state of limbo causes him to hold out hope, and prevents both of you from moving on. The ongoing feeling of not being respected is very detrimental to you and the relationship.

Ironically, he may feel hurt if you leave despite his disrespectful behavior toward you. Yet, you will probably hurt him less in the long-run by having clear closure and giving him and yourself freedom.

We all need to balance taking care of ourselves with making others happy. When you ignore what is important for you to the point that you are miserable, you endanger your health and well-being. Your consideration for others is commendable, but you must be able to say “No” and “Enough” when appropriate.

Now is your chance to grow by taking your own needs seriously. If he cares for you he will want you to do what is best for you.

Treat your partner with kindness and compassion. But use your personal authority and be decisive, saying something like, “I need to move out and gain back my soul and sense of independence, which I cannot do while I’m with you. It’s not fair to you to live with someone who is miserable and has neither passion nor vitality with you. I care about you and need you to move on with your life. I have to move on with mine.”

You need to be firm in bringing closure for your sake and his. It is in nobody’s best interest to remain in a relationship that is making one person miserable and stifled.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Four problems with helping too much.”

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3 thoughts on “Breaking up: “I feel miserable and stifled as though I don’t exist in this partnership. I have to move out, but don’t want to hurt him.”

  1. loretta apodaca

    I been in a relationship with a perfect example of a phycopath for a little over a year now its the worst situation I can’t even find a way out of it im ..I’m aware that he’s playing with my emotions he strait treats me disrespectfull in all kinds of ways he has me focused on his personal life and expects me to drop everything I’m doing …to better his life and he could care less if my life is falling apart…he talks about how much he is in love with his x girl friend even tells me of what he loves about her sexually …but always keeps me hanging on to him I could go on and on telling u what this disrespectful man has done wrong to me and yet I still have love for him what is wrong with me I need to move on before I end up on prison or dead becouse he always has me in bad situations breaking the law against my will. And lives life wreaklessly and he belittles me convinces friends and family that we are not together as a couple he has flirted with my daughters completely humiliated me and hert me so much I can’t even bring myself to cry just feel like a dumb fool…

    1. Alison Post author

      Hello, Self-respect means taking care of yourself and not putting your life and your daughters’ lives in the hands of a “Psychopath” or anyone who is disrespectful and emotionally abusive. You need to ignore the fact that “you still have love for him.” Please read your email again:
      1. He treats you disrespectfully in all kinds of ways. This is reason enough to leave, whatever emotional and financial suffering it takes.
      2. He expects you to drop everything. Don’t drop everything. You don’t have to do anything just because someone wants you to.
      3. He could care less if your life is falling apart. End the relationship. You must rise above your fear of change and being alone. That is the only way to demonstrate to yourself, to your daughters, and to future possible partners that you respect yourself and will not linger in a relationship with a selfish, abusive (and criminal) person.
      4. He talks about how much he is in love with his x girl friend and talks about what he loves about her sexually. That is extremely disrespectful and rude. But complaining to others about it or talking to him about it won’t ever change a person like this. You simply have to get out of the relationship.
      5. He keeps you hanging on. No, you keep hanging on. You have the choice to leave, and you must leave.
      6. He has you breaking the law against your will. No, you are participating in it, and must get out. You have to own your own power, not to complain or to argue, but to leave someone who is encouraging you to break the law. This is beyond disrespectful. But you have to recognize that you do have free choice. Make the right choice. Get help if you must from the police, friends, family, the church. But you have to get out.
      7. He belittles you. No relationship can survive constant belittling.
      8. He flirts with your daughters and humiliates you. You are acting like a victim, but you need to take action to protect your daughters as well as yourself. Don’t let this go on for another day. Find a way to get out. Protect your daughters from potential harm.

      Good luck. You will feel much better after you completely rid yourself of this man. Please stop viewing someone else as in control of your life.

  2. Bre

    I have the same feeling about my relationship, i’ve expressed this to him and he replies by saying he’s not stopping me from anything. He thinks i’m blaming him by wanting to leave but I truly don’t blame him. Is this just a matter of, “it’s not you, it’s me”? I guess this is where the personal authhority thing kicks in, huh?

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