I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 years and 8 months. We have been living together for the past 10 months. Our relationship has had many good times but also some very low points. He is a really, really good man, he loves me and supports me, my family likes him very much. However we have had several issues over the past few years.
He is not accountable. He makes many promises and doesn’t follow through. When I remind him, he gets upset — he takes many comments personally. So we go into loooong fights and arguments. He doesn’t accept no for an answer and keeps insisting that we talk even when I do not want to talk. We have been seeing a therapist since we decided to live together, but things haven’t improved. The good times have been really good and we have a great connection, but about every month or so, we have these huge fights.
I am tired and I want to break up, but he still wants to give our relationship another chance. I am so tired of the fights and the looong conversations, the broken promises and so on. My family doesn’t want me to break up with him because they haven’t seen any of the bad moments and I never told them that things were so bad. My sister is telling me that relationships are hard and require work and he is a great guy. I am so confused but also so tired. I’m more inclined to not continue this relationship. I am upset and disappointed and just exhausted. And also, I have to be honest, I am scared of being alone again. I am scared of regretting my decision once I feel lonely.
First of all, as much as you value your family’s opinion, I think it’s important that you try to leave them out of this. No one truly knows what goes on in a relationship except for the two people that are in it. As much as they like him, that should not be a factor in your decision because in the end, this is your life.
While, yes, relationships take work, the most important thing in a relationship is how you communicate with each other, particularly during difficult times. It sounds like these fights are not productive and neither of you are truly understanding each other. I think you have two options.
If your gut is telling you that this relationship is over and that you’re ready to move on, then you need to follow that intuition and trust that it’s the right choice. I truly believe that listening to your gut will always lead you in the right direction, and it honestly sounds like deep down you feel that this is not the right relationship for you. Try to picture what it would really be like breaking up with him, having that conversation, what life would be like afterwards — if there is a part of you that feels relief as you picture your future, then I think that is the right decision.
If breaking up with him just doesn’t feel quite right or you don’t feel ready, then your other option is to have a conversation with him in which you both try to change the way you communicate to one another. When you are both in a happy mood and getting along well, I recommend bringing up the fights that you guys have. Speak from the perspective of “we’re on the same team” rather than “it’s me vs. you”. For example, you could say “I love when things are like this. We have such an amazing connection. Don’t you hate how we get into those fights? What can we do prevent those from happening?”.
You don’t need to know exactly where the conversation is going to go, just start talking openly about it with the goal of wanting to make things better for both of you. Instead of talking about the thing you fight about, talk about how you communicate during those fights. Talk about what you both could be doing to improve your communication with one other and how you express your feelings. Make this about improving your relationship, rather than making things better for you as an individual.
If you decide to give option #2 a shot, it may take a few conversations until things improve. If things don’t improve, check in with your gut and see what it’s telling you. If your communication styles are too different and destructive, maybe it just isn’t the right fit, and that’s okay.
Let me know how it goes and good luck!