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What Can I Do if I Feel Like I Can’t Handle My Relationship?

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From a young woman in Hungary: Dear Doctor! I’m writing because I think I have a serious problem with my relationship and I feel like I’m unable to handle it on my own. I overcame depression years ago, but even without it I’m pretty much an introverted person, who has never been emotionally stabile and I feel like my boyfriend is using this against me.

Our relationship started nearly 3 years ago, at the beginning it seemed to be alright, we used to talk a lot, we dated like normal people I think, but things started to get weird soon after we got officially together (like 2-3 months after). We didn’t really argue for a long time, the first year was the year when I was trying to live for my “pink clouds” and to accept him for who he is.

Our second year was a disaster. He is a gamer, but not in the healthy way, I think it’s some kind of addiction for him which makes him agressive sometimes. No, phisically he would never hurt me, but mentally.. I feel like he is the kind of person who could totally destroy me, he knows my weak points way too well and he is not afraid of using it.

On the other hand he can be an understanding nice guy, I know he can if he wants to be, but sometimes it’s like he has a lack of empathy, like he accidentally sits on my leg blaming me for being in his way and doesn’t even apologize. Or when I invite my friends over he doesn’t try to make any contact with them, just goes in to the bedroom and waits for them to leave and throws these comments at me like why I couldn’t go to their place instead of having them over at our place (he says he would rather spend time with me then my friends but I guess the truth is that he just wanted to play and he couldn’t and that makes him frustrated).

I tried breaking up with him 4 times earlier, but my tries turned into 5 hour long arguings and they always ended up by me giving him an other chance. I don’t know how he does this, but when it comes to breaking up he always shows his best
side .. or his emotional one which I know that sounds like he is trying to manipulate me, maybe he does, but I can’t help it, I’ve been mocked and hurt way too many times (when I was a child) to be able to hurt other’s feelings, I can’t watch him suffer in pain.

I know he loves me on his own weird way, but this can’t go on forever. And also a weird thing that he makes future plans which usually never happen, they just remain unfulfilled promises and we stay home watching tv, like he wouldn’t even care about the real world, about things what are outside.

What do you think I could do to make myself stronger? Or is there any chance I could make him change? I feel like three years should have been enough, but apparently it wasn’t. I do love him as a person (at least the caring side of him), but I can’t stay in this relationship, not like this.

I’m waiting for your respond.

What Can I Do if I Feel Like I Can’t Handle My Relationship?

Answered by on -


I don’t think for a minute that you need to make yourself stronger to stay. I do think you need to find the strength to leave. You are not going to “make him” change. You are correct. You cannot stay in a relationship like this and stay healthy. You cannot compete with the gaming addiction. You should not let the good times blind you to his pattern of selfishness and emotional manipulations. There is no point in arguing about it. He doesn’t see any reason to change and he manages to convince you that he doesn’t have to.

I do suggest you take a big step back from this relationship. Do spend some time examining why you have been willing to accept his terms for so long. You deserve better. I hope you know that. Make yourself available so you can find someone who will love and cherish you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

What Can I Do if I Feel Like I Can’t Handle My Relationship?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). What Can I Do if I Feel Like I Can’t Handle My Relationship?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Nov 2018 (Originally: 1 Dec 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Nov 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.