Relationship Malaise


I was surprised when a young woman walked into my office and said she didn’t care about her boyfriend.  She deserved to be treated better than he had treated her.  She had begun to enjoy dating other men and allowed herself to like them. I couldn’t imagine what had happened because she had been so in love with him for a long time.  Actually it had been a three-year disaster of a relationship.  She knew it was a disaster, too, but she couldn’t leave it.


I had to think back over several months of sessions to understand how she moved on.  Her stated comment about her boyfriend was that she loved him.  She knew all the negative things, that he consistently preferred to spend time with his friends on weekends rather than with her.  When they did go out he’d openly flirt with other females which was very hurtful to her.


What kept her in the relationship was that she avoided thinking about the negative things and instead had focused on how good looking he was and what a good job he had.  She had also blamed his poor treatment of her on herself.  She’d think if only I had not got angry that last night we went out we’d still be together.  This is a typical thought from someone who loves their boyfriend, they tend to blame it on their actions. At this point, I began thinking about the song by the Eagles, “Already Gone”.  Often people don’t realize they have the key to making things better.  If you haven’t heard the song in a while, here’s a live version.

That’s exactly what this young woman did.  She had taken steps to rebuild her self-esteem.  She set goals at work to complete projects successfully.  She built relationships with friends and found activities to enjoy with them on weekends.

Even more helpful, she blocked him from Facebook and  blocked her phone number so he couldn’t call her.

Is it time to let go of your unsatisfying relationship and move on?  It can be helpful to know there are other options besides resigning oneself to a negative relationship.

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