Posted by: MK | 2008/05/21

Giving up on relationships

Dear CS

I have been divorced for a year after a 15 year marriage, and in a relationship with a man for the past 5 months.

I am not totally 100% happy in the current relationship. I am not expecting to be swept off my feet and have roses sent to my office every day. I am not that naïve. However, I do feel like I put most of the effort into the relationship and that he does not really do so at all. And that is what this relationship feels like these days. Effort.

I have been thinking a lot lately about relationships and I am increasingly thinking I would be better off on my own in no relationship whatsoever anymore.

How to you protect yourself from heartbreak, CS? I feel like I have set myself up for it. And also what about kids and relationships. My daughter who is 11 years old really enjoys my boyfriend’s company, he has made a huge positive impact on her life in many ways. She is going to be devastated when we break up. However, I cannot stay in a relationship wherein I am unhappy. The answer really seems to be to give up on relationships altogether.

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Our expert says:
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Sometimes it seems as though you may do best to FIRST get content in a relationship with yourself, before embarking on the further complexities of a relationship with someone else. And all the emotional dust needs to have settled after a divorce / break-up, before the chances are good for a further relationship to work out. WOuld it be useful for you and your current bf to share some sessions of relationship counselling, to explore whether this could, with some adjustments, work out better ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liz | 2008/09/09

My boyfriend and i have been together for 3 yrs, he has told me a few months back that he cheated (2nd yr) and now has a son. Apparently, the condom was not enough. It is a long distance relationship now as he was studying in my country. Since finding out i have attempted to dump him, but have not succeeded ' cause i still love him.
I went to his country after the confession (work related trip) and we hooked up and we decided to put it behind us.
However, I am only 23yrs old. I am currently completing my masters and hope to do my doctorate after that. Basically, I feel like a sucker for still being in this relationship and also that we have no real future because we have different religions.
Lastly, he will becoming back to study next year and i dont want to be in a position where i am breaking up and making up all the time. We have had 1 ' separation'  for three months in our 1st year due to the sex issue as i was still a virgin.
I am usually a strong woman and I feel like i can get over him, but do u have advice on when i should break up with him (should i wait till i see him?) and how i can ensure that i dont go back? I cant stop communication via phone as i have some of his belongings and he owes me cash, plus i kinda help with his studies (admin stuff), much less now.
This should be easy, please help wherever you can.

Reply to Liz
Posted by: E.S. | 2008/05/21

See if you can get the book Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. I've just finished it. It explains very nicely why women always seem to give more.
I've been in a relationship where I gave more and more, and did more and more, and felt like the more I gave, the less I got back. Men think that if we continue to give, we are happy. Stop giving and doing, so he can even the score.
You cannot protect yourself from heartbreak. And you will not be better off alone.
Remember, relationships are hard work. And women need to ask for what they want and need.
Also remember that men sometimes need to be left alone to work through their problems.

Reply to E.S.
Posted by: Been there | 2008/05/21


Please think carefully before you tread. I have been divorced for many, many years and you will not believe what is out there.

You think now that it's easy to be alone again. I was in a relationship for 4 years and walked out thinking I cannot bear certain things anymore. And now 1 year later im still alone and wonder was it really that bad? Could I not have made an effort?

We tend to make an effort in the next relationship and if we only did in this one we would have made it work. Have you sat down and discussed this with your boyfriend? Maybe he's also not happy with things, we think they are but you might be surprised.

Before you just end it please try and work on it first. There are very few, if any, good men left out there. And the excitement of flowers etc wear off in all relationshis and then you will be back to where you are and maybe with a man not as good as this one, if he is that is.

It's easy to say you will remain single i tried that to. It's a very lonely place out there. With only a child, mine also 11, to talk to after work and weekends etc. You will miss the relationship.

Also remember after this relationship you cannot jump into another mans bed, not that im saying you will, you will have to think of your daughter and what example you set for her.


Reply to Been there

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