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Howard Wise
Howard Wise, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 650
Experience:  Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.
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Im not sure why Im having such a hard time ending this relationship.

Customer Question

I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time ending this relationship. I spend weekends at a time with him screaming at me and calling me names but then he will go a week and be the nicest person ever. I feel like I keep overlooking the bad for the good. He doesn't contribute to any living expenses and still expects me to pay for everything. He sends his money to his grown kids or pays for stuff for himself. I know I need to cut this cord but I'm having such a horrible time doing it. What is wrong with me??
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
Good morning, this is Howard,

I think you are correct, you are overlooking the bad for the good. This sounds like a very dysfunctional, and unhealthy, relationship. Have you had this type of experience before in other relationships? Tell me a little about your childhood.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I grew up in a family of 6 kids with a stepfather that was an alcoholic and took prescription drugs. He was very verbally abusive and physically abusive to the 3 of us which were his stepdaughters. His 3 did not have that type of treatment. We were poor and lived off welfare but I rose above all of that until my relationships.
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. I'm very sorry to hear that you grew up in such a destructive environment. I think there is a very good chance that the difficulty you're having now with ending this relationship relates back to your childhood experiences with your abusive stepfather. Have you received individual psychotherapy?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have but do not have health insurance now so cannot afford it. I just know I'm miserable and don't understand why I can't make this man get out of my life. It's almost like I feel sorry for him or something. Or like I'm afraid of being by myself again.
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
You just answered your question. You are having a hard time ending this relationship because you feel sorry for your boyfriend, and you are afraid of being alone again.

I want you to complete the following two sentences with as many thoughts as come to mind. Please don't filter your thoughts, this is kind of like a brainstorming exercise.

If I leave my boyfriend then he...

If I am by myself again then...
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

If I leave my boyfriend then he has to live with his mother.


If I am by myself again - I will get depressed and lonely again.

Expert:  Howard Wise replied 5 years ago.
I see.

And if your boyfriend has to live with his mother, what happens next? Is that going to be a big problem for him? If it is, why is that concern of yours? Do you think that you are responsible for his happiness and well-being? If so, you must realize that this is not true.

I understand that you are concerned about being depressed and lonely again. I don't know much about you, however, it appears that depression may have been a problem for you in the past. If you do find yourself feeling depressed I suggest that you talk to your friends or close family members to get additional support. Another wonderful option would be for you to participate in individual psychotherapy. That's a great way to address depression.