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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5804
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi, I am in a relationship that I know I need to break from.

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I am in a relationship that I know I need to break from. I am still truly in love with this person however, our lives are leading us in two different ways... mainly... I have kids from a previous relationship and she does not want a relationship with them at all.

So... I want to break up sooner rather than later to let us heal and move on however, I am trying to work on timing.

1. I am leaving for a week trip to asia sunday
2. I have my children this weekend and will only see her at night
3. I want to do this before the holidays so we have some time to heal and before

when is the best time to do this... again... I truly truly still love this woman... however - I am really really worried if I do this before I leave we will both freak out being so far away with so much emotion... if I wait till I return... its one more week and she has a holiday on Nov 13th she will be celebrating and then we will have to work though that.

please help
Hello, I’d like to help you with your question.

When you know your relationship is ending it is usually a good idea to end it as soon as possible. If you wait, it only hurts you and your partner may be able to pick up signals that you are not involved in the relationship as much as you used to be which can add to their pain over the end of the relationship.

Ending a relationship involves mourning your loss. Even if you want the relationship to end, it is still a loss. And grieving does take some time, so the earlier you let her know that you want to end things the better.

With your trip to Asia, being apart after your break up may actually help. It gives you a chance to think about how you feel and her a chance to adjust with knowing you are not nearby. It is very tempting when you experience a break up to be close to the other person just so the pain isn’t so bad. Couples who break up often see each other many times right afterwards because of this. By being apart, you may have more time to adjust to the idea of being separated so when you do see each other, it may be easier on you both.

And only seeing her for the evenings this upcoming weekend is also a factor. Since you know you want the relationship to end soon, seeing her is only going to be for her and not for you. It may help you both process the end of the relationship, but otherwise it only prolongs your decision.

Of course, a lot of what you decide has to do with how you feel and how you think she may react. If she tends to be upset easily, it may be better to wait. But if you feel it may go smoothly, earlier is better.

Here is a resource that may help you:

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I wanted to follow up on this question. I am still in this relationship and have attempted to end it several times over the past two weeks. We have had deep talks... she promises to change make corrections to the things in need... but I still feel like I have to leave.


The problem is... I cant get the words out. I feel like a coward... but I don't want to hurt her, I love her and am desperately afraid I will instantly regret this decision.


I have had multiple opportunities to say it is over, but... I haven't. In fact in spite of myself I have re commited! We are going to look at a house right now... what is wrong with me?


So... need some advice... We have broken up before and I have physically been in pain... as has she. She has no one else... is totally alone and will be devastated.




I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my answers for each new/different question you ask. Or we can start a new question. Let me know which one works for you. Thanks!


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Of course! Either is fine with me.

Ok great. Thanks for letting me know.


It sounds like your guilt over leaving her and your memory
of how painful a break up was for you is interfering with your ability to let go. You seem like you are sure about leaving until you go to tell her, which is a step that you cannot take back. The hurt will begin and you may feel that the guilt will be too overwhelming for you.


It is not easy to break up with someone. And it doesn't help
when she is so willing to fix what is wrong in the relationship. But it does
not sound like fixing things that are wrong will change how you feel. If you
don't want to be in the relationship that leaves you with two choices, stay and
feel miserable or leave. So be sure that leaving is what you want. If you are
unsure of that, take some time to explore your feelings before you do anything.
Take time on your own and think through what you will do when the relationship
ends. How will you feel? Good, bad or indifferent? Do you want to leave to find
someone else, or are you ok leaving without starting a new relationship? You
don't want to leave just so you can find the excitement of a new relationship.
So be sure you would be ok on your own if you ended things. That tells you that
you find issue with the relationship itself and not just that you are bored
with it.

Once you decide for sure what you want plan it out either on
paper or in your mind. That will make it easier to follow through, if you know
what you are going to do ahead of time. Then, find a time to sit down with her
somewhere quiet. Then tell her straight out. If you feel the doubts creeping
in, ignore them and keep going. Be prepared for her to get upset, angry or very
sad. And be willing to accept her feelings. But also be determined to stick
with your decision no matter how hard it gets.


Make sure she knows that this is not about her. Let her know
how great a person she is. And be willing to accept full blame, even if part of
your reason is because of her. She does not need to cope with that now.

If it helps, write out a letter to her. By doing this, it can help you clarify your feelings and give more permanence to the break up. Tell her good things about herself, spell out that you are leaving but that you respect her and don't want to hurt her. Give it to her after you talk to her. It can help make it easier on both of you.


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