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- This topic has 20 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 4 days, 3 hours ago by Daisy.
I am 28 and have a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship. I have been in a relationship for about a year and a half. Things have been rocky since June 2021, which is when I found out about my partner’s porn use. I had mentioned several times before that porn has been a big issue in previous relationships. There have been trust issues since this incident that we can’t seem to resolve. I believe I have a lot of issues that I need to resolve on my own and can’t seem to let go of this relationship even though it has gotten to the point where we are verbally abusive towards each other. I feel like things are different too… I no longer trust him and therefore, don’t feel as connected anymore. It feels like we are just prolonging the inevitable. It’s inevitable for us to break up… I just can’t seem to force myself to leave. Although I am currently looking into renting a place… I think I am afraid of being alone and that’s part of what is keeping me here. I just feel like a failure. This is my third more long term relationship and there is obviously something I’m doing wrong. I’m toxic and need to work on my issues and these guys are simply not right for me. I’m just looking for some comfort and maybe someone who has gone through a similar situation to talk to…SaraGuest
You need to be able to be own your own and happy on your own before you look to settle down, I think from what you have described you are not happy, your 9 year old daughter will notice that, if it’s not worth saving I would break it off and as hard as it will be, put all your energy in to your daughter and yourself, take time to look after yourself, self care, self love and exercise, spend time with your daughter, work through your insecurities on your own and you will build yourself up and meet someone because you want to, not because you need to. You are not a failure for putting you and your child’s needs and happiness firstAnonymousseGuest
You are not toxic. There’s a probability that you are working through something and because of that, you are unconsciously attracted to/choosing guys who aren’t right for you. No nine year old should be in a house with a verbally abusive, porn addicted grown man, I hope it’s not as bad as I’m imagining. 2/3 of your relationship with him, as you wrote it, has been bad with this issue. Why do you do this to yourself and your daughter? You’re deeply unhappy but choose his partnership over being on your own.
Being alone, getting strong and healing alone (I’d try some therapy) will be much much better than prolonging this horrible situation in front of your daughter. Teach her that her peace is more important than a companion. Be a good role model and get out of that relationship and look into therapy if you feel that there’s something you’re doing to get into these dead end relationships.AnonymousseGuest
I like what Sara said, too. Your daughter needs to see you be the hero of your story, not the victim.Dear WendyKeymaster
I’m assuming that you meant that things have been rocky with your boyfriend since June 2022 and not June 2021, since the latter would mean that your entire relationship has been rocky versus “just” 2/3 of it. Regardless, you know you need to leave this dude, and if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your daughter. I get that you’re afraid of being alone, but it’s ok to be afraid of something. Do it anyway. Be alone for a while. You are not able to have a functional happy romantic relationship right now so stop trying. I promise, there is life outside dysfunctional relationships. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Be brave! Make a commitment to yourself and your daughter that you will refrain from dating anyone for AT LEAST a whole year, and in that time focus on the two of you. Consider therapy to work through whatever issues are preventing you from seeking/attracting men with whom you can develop a mutually respectful relationship. Invest in friendships, your health, your community, and, of course, your daughter. In time, you will see how full and enriching and lovely life can be when you aren’t so distracted by messed men and dysfunctional relationships.LisforLeslieGuest
Which role model do you think is better for your child:
Woman who stays in unfulfilling relationship because being alone is scary
Woman who figures out how to lead a fulfilling life without always being in a relationship.
I don’t know if you’re toxic, but you’re picking partners who don’t respect your boundaries. If I had to pick a reason from thin air (which I am totally doing), you want to be in a relationship more than you want to be in the right relationship for you. Do you get invested quickly? Fall head over heels? Ignore red flags? All because you want to be wanted?
Slow down. Take some time to reset. Join a book club or an indoor mom-volleyball club. Do something to meet new people and focus on the activities that you like. Share some with your kid. Be a brownie troop leader. Stop living as if being partnered up is the only way to live.AngyGuest
Correction* I’ve been in this relationship for almost two and a half years, not that it necessarily matters. I greatly appreciate everyone’s replies. I tend to ignore red flags and stick around sometimes even when I know there is no future. I don’t know why I do this to myself or my daughter, but I know I need to stop. It’s definitely easier said than done… I will most likely move out of our shared apartment this week. At first, I felt okay but now I’m starting to feel more emotional. It was my choice though. Deep down I know he is not the right guy for me and deep down I knew I didn’t see a future with him. We did have some good moments and he actually used to be nice and romantic… He has probably been the best out of all guys I’ve been with in that sense. He treated me differently at one point and we got to do a lot of new things. I can’t believe I was settling for guys like my previous partners. I’d still be settling now though… This isn’t quite the relationship I want. That’s what I believe I try to hold onto. The good moments… but they’re long gone.AnonymousseGuest
You need to focus on your daughter and your own happiness and health. If you can’t feel fulfilled alone, you need help. Your daughter needs to see you model healthy relationships so she doesn’t repeat your patterns when she is older. Your relationship has been Rocky from very close to the beginning, but you moved in anyway. Why? You say you knew he wasn’t right. You need to listen to that intuition a lot more.
Get professional help if you can, get healthier about relationships and strong on your own and try to focus on what your daughter needs. Good luck.AnonymousseGuest
You said it started going downhill two years ago. You’ve been in the relationship 2.5 years. That’s really not good. Had you already moved in by then? What stopped you from walking away back then, in June 2021?AngyGuest
I agree. I definitely need help, and I am seeing a counselor but maybe I need to see someone else. I can’t say I feel like I’ve improved much. Honestly, I don’t even know why I moved. My soon-to-be ex wanted us to move together because he lived about 30 minutes away so we had to drive constantly to see each other. We almost broke up in July of last year and we ended up moving in August. Even that almost didn’t happen. We had just started dating in February 2021 so we decided to give it a shot when we had the situation in June 2021. We met in September 2020… I should’ve just broken things off a long time ago.ronGuest
It seems that a lot of guys your age watch porn. Unless it’s violent or kiddie porn, it seems almost common for single guys in their 20s and 30s. You say porn has been ‘a big issue’ is prior relationships. First, it’s not current guy’s responsibility about what caused problems in prior relationships. Second, why is porn such a big issue for you? Third, if it is a very big concern for you, you have to exclude all guys who like porn. You learned early on that your current bf was into porn but chose to stay two more years with him. That’s on you. You distrusted him because of his porn issue, and I assume catching him consuming porn after making him promise that he wouldn’t. Yet you stayed with him. You have no more self-control than he does.AngyGuest
He agreed to install accountability software after I found out about the porn, we’ve had it since then. Yes, I suppose I do have to exclude all guys who are into porn because it bothers me and is almost a form of cheating. That’s just my opinion. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I have not caught him watching anything; however, we have not been successful at rebuilding trust in our relationship.