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Ask Therapist Leslie Your Own Question

Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 192
Experience:  Owner and Psychotherapist at Self-Employed, Private Practice
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I was just browsing looking for an online site where I can

Customer Question

Hi. I was just browsing looking for an online site where I can get relationship advice from a live person, preferably a professional. Haven't had a chance to read through this site yet when your chat invite appeared. What can you tell me about it?
JA: I've been chatting since I was able to speak. The Psychologist will know what to do. Is there anything else the Psychologist should be aware of?
Customer: My question has to do with whether or not I should end the relationship I'm in.
Submitted: 23 days ago.
Category: Relationship
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
My question has to do with whether or not I should end the relationship I'm in.She and I have been together for one year. I'm 45 and she is 40. We are both divorced and we know ourselves very well. She has an 8-year old son and I have an 8-year old daughter and 13-year old son. When we met, we had an immediate connection, and it was more than merely physical. We really got to know each other well, discovered we have a lot in common and shared goals for the future. We started dating exclusively within a few weeks of meeting. Things went very well for the first few months. We even moved in together, but that was rough. We started fighting ans the fights were bad. Shouting. Putting each other down. Insults. Neither of us meant what we said when angry, but we hurt each other. Friends told us this was a normal adjustment period, and I trusted that. Well, a couple months ago, she found that I had emailed someone online back when we were first together (about 3 months into the relationship but dating exclusively). Nothing physical happened and there was no ongoing communication, just a single email exchange. It damaged trust because we agreed that was a form of cheating. It caused a lot of fighting between us, but she decided to stay, though she says she might not ever trust me 100% ever again. We still talk about a future together though.But now, after several months of off-and-on fighting, it's left me having doubts about the relationship and whether I should stay in it. We both agree that we need to learn to argue in more productive ways, but neither of us have been good at implementing that yet. We push each other until we explode. No physical violence ever though. I feel like the relationship is damaged and though there is a lot of good in it, I'm not sure if I'm having second thoughts about it out of fear, or whether its because I think I should move on, and I don't know how to decide. I could use your advice. I've given myself time (the past several weeks) to take the emotion out of it, but the answer still is not clear.
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 22 days ago.

Good morning and thank you so much for your message. I realize it is difficult to reach out for help. Please know I admire your courage.

My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro Boston area.

Thank you for the information provided. It sounds like while your relationship has moved quickly and obviously there was a bit of transition time. I am concerned about the way the two of you approach disagreements. It sounds like it gets incredibly nasty and hurtful things are said on both ends. I do believe the two of you could rather easily learn some ways to disagree and yet still remain respectful to each other through couples counseling. Is this something you would consider? I think once there communication tools are mastered, your relationship can then be examined and a decision made. It does sound like there is a lot of good in what you currently have but the fighting has made things incredibly toxic. Perhaps approach this by saying something like this...

"I love you and the life we have created together. As we are both aware, we sadly don't fight fairly. We so often intentionally try to hurt one another and it chips away at my confidence for our relationship. I do think there many good parts of us being together and wondering if you would consider attending couples counseling so we can find more effective ways to communicate our feelings of frustration?"

Does this feel comfortable?

So, in other words, my recommendation is to see if a new way of being together can be created when there are differences. If so, I think things between the two of you would be significantly better. You can then assess the relationship, determining if you would like continue moving forward.

Have I answered your question? Is there anything else I can do to assist you further? I want to ensure you are pleased with my service. I also gently request you provide a star rating for me. Of course, we can continue to talk after the rating is provided.

Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Warm regards,

Therapist Leslie

Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 18 days ago.

I hope you are well. Just wanted to check in as I have not received a rating from you as of yet To me this means you may have another question.Please let me know – I am simply touching base. Thanks!

Warm regards,

Therapist Leslie

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