I'm in an emotionally unstable "friendship." We talk every night, and are each other's confidant. I still very much love him, but when I see a picture of him happy with someone else it hurts even more. I'm trying to make the friendship thing work but I'm hurting myself. He tells me I should leave him because he can see it too. I dont want to cut him off but I cant have someone else having this big of an impact on my happiness. Please help


3319 days ago
The fact of the matter is that if your needs exceed what the situation can provide then you need to leave. If he is telling you to leave, you really need to leave. Sometimes connections are hard to break but by focusing on your self respect and not allowing yourself to settle for less, you can maintain your focus. Maybe you need to focus on the rationalities behind your insecurities and get over the idea that this is the best you can do. Anyone deserves better than being someones safety net.

3319 days ago
Leaving is never easy. Most people talk about it as if it is saying just leave. There are tasks that need to be accomplished though before you can leave.

There are two tasks that need to be done before a person decides to leave. First the person deciding to leave needs to grieve the loss of what that person wanted out of the relationship. The ideal, the dream, or what once was and now is no more. That person needs to go all the way through the grieving process including the five stages of grief which usually takes about a year.

The five stages will be listed here because if you are thinking of leaving, it will give you an idea of how far you are in grieving.

1. Denial - I can't believe this is as bad as it is. He or she will get better. There is still hope for this relationship.

2. Anger - It is all my partner's fault. That person is the one that is in the wrong. Why me?

3. Bargaining - If only this would have happened or that would be different or if we could get help or if that would have worked. This is the working through understanding what went wrong in the relationship. Was it about me or the other person? Is there any way of salvaging it?

4. Guilt - It is all my fault. I am the one that allowed this to happen. I am the one that made all of the mistakes. I am the one that is wrong.

5. Acceptance - This is when you can say to yourself it is over and it no longer hurts to say it. This is when it becomes a relief to leave your partner because you know without a doubt that it is over.

Each of these stages have a purpose in understanding why the relationship failed. Each needs to be gone through.

The second task is to feel that you have done everything you could to salvage the relationship. While most of this is done in the bargaining phase, in the end it needs to be part of the acceptance that you have tried everything and nothing has worked. It does not matter what these things are, they are unique to the individual and the relationship. It just matters that you have tried several things and none have worked.

Also consider the miserable factor. What percentage of the time are you miserable? The higher the percentage the more likely you will want to get out of the relationship.

3319 days ago
He's affecting your happiness whether he forces you to say goodbye, or whether he torments you when you're together. So that's kind of a non-issue. Also, you were in a relationship, and trying to deny his impact on you, now, is unnecessary and unrealistic. It's normal to be attached and have him impact your happiness right now. I wouldn't worry about that.

In my experience, people hold on through friendship because they don't want to be alone and lose the person. But if you know that in the end, it won't work, then you have to force yourself into letting go by cutting off contact (for 4 months, minimum) and going through the typical post-break up repertoire: thinking, longing, wondering, questioning, doubting, dreaming, (no particular order) and eventually getting perspective and knowing that you made a good-enough decision. Then you can decide whether reinitiating contact is a good idea or not, and you'll be in a better position to assess what's really good for you and what will just fuck you up.

3318 days ago
I do wonder if you could at least try to limit contact a bit at first and see where that would lead?