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Inability to Move on from Relationships

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I’m a 33 yr. old widow (suicide) and I recently separated from my partner of 3 yrs. and began dating. One of the men I dated for a few mo., and I just “broke up” a few days ago and I’m having a hard time accepting this. I contact him constantly, I think about “us” all the time and I feel that I have an overall pattern of difficulty with acceptance and moving forward, as well as a desire for ownership (not wanting to “let go” of people – even they are not good for me).

Even if I date new people, I still have problems moving on from old relationships and will try to reconcile and have multiple “secret” relationships at once, just on case one of them fails.

Inability to Move on from Relationships

Answered by on -


Your descriptions point toward a struggle with intimate relationships, and it is hard to know if this is solely the result of losing your husband the way you did — or if there are other reasons. In any case, I would highly recommend working with a therapist to explore these patterns. Understanding what causes this will be a great help in correcting it. If it is about your husband’s death then you may need to explore grieving his loss. If it is your family of origin, then you can learn about the dynamics that took place earlier in your life.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Inability to Move on from Relationships

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Inability to Move on from Relationships. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.