My girlfriend and I dated for three years without ever dealing with our problems.
She was very needy and acted like I was always failing her in some way.
I realize now that I kept reacting against her clinging to me.
We moved in together six months ago and now it’s worse. I told myself she’d be more relaxed when we were together full-time, but that didn’t happen for her, or for me.
She’s upset if I’m five minutes late coming home from work, or if I drop in to see my sister and her kids (I always text her if I go there but she still questions me).
I told her she needed to talk to someone about her wanting constant attention, but she reacted badly, saying I was at fault.
We rented this place together for a year, but I can’t stay in this relationship. It’s choking me.
How do I tell her that we have to break-up and one of us or both have to move?
Two’s A Crowd
Speak up; say that you can’t continue the relationship because it’s unsatisfying for both of you.
If she suggests getting counselling together, consider this: Even if it doesn’t resolve your differences, it may help her accept and handle the break-up more amicably.
Then move the conversation to practical matters.
It takes time to find new accommodation.
If you go ahead with a split, you’ll have to work out a financial agreement, regarding whether one of you takes in a roommate to cover the other’s half of the rent.
Also, discuss how to divide up any jointly purchased furnishings before the legal date in your locale when common-law partners have equal ownership.
My oldest brother holds a grudge against one of my younger sibling for things he perceives were done wrong to him.
He never acknowledges his part in any wrongdoing.
He’s turned many family gatherings into very upsetting events, though the rest of us get along very well.
He also complains to our mother, 80, who has her own health issues and worries about our dad who’s in a nursing home.
His complaints have caused her many sleepless nights.
I’ve told him to stop, to no avail. He’ll have a violent outburst at a family gathering and storm out with his family and never apologize.
Now his wife is also telling my younger brother how she feels about him – by email - after he’d invited them to his cottage, to let bygones be bygones.
How do I proceed going forward?
Emotionally Exhausted Sibling
Stay out of this dynamic, or it’ll drag you down.
Your older brother and his wife will turn on you, too, because that’s how they operate and feed their grudge.
Protect your mother the best you can.
Your brother knows he upsets her, and gets his satisfaction and attention this way. He knows she’s the only one who cares about whether he’s happy.
Explain to her that the best she can do for him and herself is just to say she loves him and hopes that he and his siblings will one day work things out.
Then she must say she’s tired, or worried about Dad, or whatever gets her off the phone with him.
Any further conversation between them about who did what to whom only arouses his sense of outrage and deeply upsets her.
If his complaints increase, wearing her down emotionally and affecting her health, you may have to call for a restraining order against him with regard to his mother.
Reader’s Commentary “I was anorexic in my past and had to be hospitalized for several months in my late teens.
“It’s taken years for me to learn to eat healthy foods, in a healthy way.
“I work out regularly, but not obsessively, as I did before. It’s become part of my staying fit (I’m 32 now), energetic, and feeling good all around.
“Recently, I realized that what started my road to anorexia, was the attitude towards weight and food in my childhood home.
“My father was vain, and often missed meals on purpose. He made comments about my mother’s looks, noting a few extra pounds or any sign of age. One sister was overweight, another was bulimic.
“I’m sharing this so parents will realize the effect of their own self-images, plus their food and weight issues, on their children.
“It especially impacts on how young teens see themselves as their bodies change shape.”
Tip of the day:
When a break-up’s inevitable, counselling may help it go easier.