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Dear Christine, When to Call it Quits in Wesland

| May 14, 2018

Dear Christine, my girlfriend has dumped me so many times – the day i went to mexico, two days before christmas – etc.! and i take her back every time. she said she left because a)i would not tolerate her excessively close relationship continuing with her ex and b) because i have teenage kids whom she did not like (she has no kids). now we are back together again, she said she was making the big commitment this time and no more running away, but i feel like something died and i can’t really get behind it emotionally. we have not had sex for almost two years! she is my first girlfriend. i hesitate to let her go, she’s a good person, but i don’t even want to hold her hand! i think something dies inside when you get so many hard hits. should i just cut her loose? another aspect is that she is not educated like i am, so i get frustrated that she cannot understand what i am saying…plus she is the perky type which i find irritating. did i answer my own question?? when to call it quits in Westland

Dear When to Call it Quits, Most e-mailers do answer their own questions, as you are the expert on you and what you need and what you feel, but perhaps you need to process here a bit. It sounds like something about the relationship has died for you. It sounds like trust died. Trust is one of those fundamental basics needed as the foundation of a healthy relationship, and it can be hard to rebuild trust after it has been broken, especially if broken repeatedly. In order to have intimacy, it’s important to have safety, and safety comes from clear boundaries and expectations of each other, and trust that who you say you are, you demonstrate in your actions and your words. Take a look at your needs in a relationship. There are a lot of people out there that you may love, but not be able to be in a committed relationship with. For example, one “non-negotiable” for you might be that whoever you are girlfriends with accepts your kids. Even teenagers will grow up, but you will always be their mom, and they won’t disappear from your life, and maybe not even your home, just because they hit a magic number, like 18 or 21. If your girlfriend really doesn’t like your kids, then this doesn’t look good for a long term relationship.

Sounds like you’re bothered by her closeness with her ex. That could be another “non negotiable” for you, but remaining close to her ex may be a “non negotiable” for her. Everyone has different needs. If you really can’t tolerate her closeness with her ex, you need to be clear with her about that, and define the boundary you are comfortable with. If she can do that, great! If not, and she has a need to continue that closeness with her ex, even while in another relationship, then this also doesn’t look good for the long haul for you two.

Trust your inner sense, your gut feelings, as they are your best guide. You are responsible for yourself and yourself only, so you have to find a way to get your needs met, not her. It’s not her job in life to do everything just the way you prefer, and if she can’t or won’t then perhaps it is time to let go.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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