Relationship problems: What should I do?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I’ve been a widow for almost 5 years and have been in a monogomous relationship for 4 years. About a year ago, my boyfriend proposed and I accepted with the understanding that I could not move forward with planning a wedding until I eliminated some of the stresses I inherited. My husband died first, my mother (who lived with us) shortly thereafter. My two sons were still in jr. high and high school…I’ve been managing two family businesses, rental properties, and pursueing an acting career. The problem is two-fold. 1) My boyfriend kept insisting we set a wedding date because he was embarrassed when people asked him and he couldn’t give them an answer, and 2) My responsibilities often do not allow us to spend as much time together as he would like. Several months ago I gave the ring back and told him I needed time to finish “cleaning up” the leftover issues from my married life. He gets extremely upset and emotional when I can’t be with him…crying, threatening suicide, invading my privacy (my voice mail, caller id, email, etc.) and going into my home when I am not there. Recently he listened to a voice mail from a gentleman that has expressed an interest in getting to know me better and he went crazy. Although I know it’s totally wrong, I’ve lied to him about this other person calling out of fear. When he gets in these “moods” he begs me to comfort him and be with him because he “can’t sleep without me.” (He’ll go for days without sleep.) He also becomes extremely sexual. Last night he called about 20 times and begged me to go to him at 1:00 o’clock in the morning. He’s also very jealous of the male friends in my life. My sons don’t like him because of the way the relationship has turned. My friends, employees, and most importantly my family are all on this roller coaster with me and I don’t know what to do. Help!

A. You are not being honest with your boyfriend. You should never have agreed to get married on a conditional basis. You have lost interest in him over time and have been dishonest with him giving him hope that the relationship will improve or might move forward, if you had time deal with your other problems. In reality he was and is the problem. You need to be honest with him, end this relationship immediately, and if you are afraid of him, involve the police. You should not be continuing this relationship, comforting him and having sex with him. All these things give him the wrong signals and add to the problem.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 May 2005

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2005). Relationship problems: What should I do?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2005/05/24/relationship-problems-what-should-i-do/