Ask Lisa: I’m Feeling Trapped in my Relationship


I am 21 years old and graduating college in 2 weeks. I have been dating a guy I met at college for 2 years now. He is honestly my best friend and we do have a lot of fun together. Our relationship has started to become very routine and we rarely ever had sex. I wound up breaking up with him a few months ago and he took the news EXTREMELY hard. He cried so much about it and made me feel like the worst person ever. He guilt tripped me everyday and questioned “Why would you do this to me? I don’t deserve this!” After questioning me everyday and telling me he would change I decided to take him back. Things were going great and I was starting to feel great again. But now, things are starting to turn back into the same old thing. Sex is completely awkward between us and I haven’t had the desire to have sex with him and he doesn’t understand why. I am moving back home to my parents house and he questions me constantly “Your not going to break up with me are you? Do you REALLY love me?”

I feel like the man in this relationship because is SO sensitive to everything. I can’t handle the pressure from him and I am starting to feel trapped. But I am deathly afraid to breakup with him again because I am scared he is going to loose it. Please help me, I know this sounds so childish but I have resorted to asking advice because I am so confused.

Lisa’s thoughts…

You asking for relationship advise in this way is not childish – it’s simply an issue you’re struggling to understand on your own.  Let me see if I can offer you anything helpful:

Your boyfriend’s behavior does sound like someone who is insecure.  The way you describe his reactions when you’ve tried to break up with him is concerning.  Insecurity such as this is often born out of prior insecure relationships (particularly early parent-child) but it can wreak havoc in intimate relationships.  When there is a partner who acts “clingy” or “needy, it can leave the other person feeling just are you are – “trapped.”  The irony is that often the person’s desperation NOT to lose the other causes just that; a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You have the right to be with the person who feels like a good fit – not be pressured to stay with someone out of fear of their reaction if you leave.  That being said, if his behavior becomes scary or you’re afraid of where his desperation might lead him (self-harm, suicide, etc), then get his friends and family involved as a support network.  If he threatens to harm himself and is clear about a means in which to do it right there, call 911.

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