Break up because it’s broken

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and a half now. We had been fighting on and off lately. No serious fighting, just senseless bickering. Apparently, one day he had enough and moved out of the house we were in the process of moving into. I didn’t know what to do. He was so angry. I went to his parents house with intentions of talking to his mom (the only person he listens to when he gets in those moods). I ended up speaking with both of his parents. Let me add, his father and him do not see eye to eye on anything. He takes anything anyone says and distorts it to his advantage. They asked what we fought about and I told him a few fights I could remember. My boyfriend ended up moving back in that same night and apologizing. Two days later, I get a phone call with him screaming at me about how his family thinks he is on drugs. NOWHERE in that conversation did I say that he was on drugs. My boyfriend moves out that day. He says we need a break. The break lasts 4 days. He moves back, things were fine. Or so I thought. We get into an argument (small, as always) one night and we make up in the morning. Here I am thinking, the fight didn’t drag on so this is a good start for change.

Anyway, two days after that, he visits his parents house. I am home when I get yet another screaming phone call. This time saying that his dad agrees with me that he’s insane (I didn’t say that AT ALL) and that he need psychological help. Again, I said none of this. He moves out again. I’m so sick of all this! I made a mistake in telling his parents, particularly his dad about all this. I know that. I believe that things can be worked out with time. He does not. He thinks he screwed things up horribly by doing XYZ, which he won’t even define for me. He says if I think about the time we spent together, I’ll understand.He says he ends up hurting everyone around him. He says he runs away when he’s mad or hurt and that he’s done hurting me by running. He says I deserve stability and someone better than him. He doesn’t understand why I want to be with him when all he does is humiliate us and hurt me all the time (his words, not mine). He said yesterday that he doesn’t want me completely out of his life but he doesn’t know what to do and just wants to leave and never come back. He says the only emotion he has is anger about everything. Despite everything, I still feel like this isn’t really over. I know he isn’t coming back any time soon but deep down, I feel like there are issues apart from me that he needs to work through right now and maybe one day, he’ll come back. I hope I’m not just being delusional, I’m pretty good at telling when something is truly over and done with. In the meantime, I know I need to move on with my life as if he isn’t coming back. How do I get over this? How do I get over him? How do I move on?

P.S. That book, It’s called a break up because it’s broken, isn’t working.

A: I’m not familiar with the book so I can’t comment on what it says. But I can comment on your letter. You are probably right that the relationship isn’t over but only because you keep going back for more. I’m sorry to say that I agree with your boyfriend. He isn’t in any shape to offer anyone a relationship. He has serious issues with anger and with attachment that need to be dealt with. He knows it but he’s probably scared. So he blames his parents, blames you, and keeps things constantly stirred up so he doesn’t have to face himself.

Meanwhile – you have a role in this. Why, oh why do you want to stay in a relationship that is so fraught with fighting and constant bickering? Please take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself why you don’t think you deserve better. You are only 23. You’ve only been in this relationship a little over a year. You’ve got plenty of time to work on yourself and to find a loving and supportive relationship. Don’t, don’t, don’t move in with this guy unless and until you both deal with your own issues.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Break up because it’s broken. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/11/break-up-because-its-broken/