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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…

Let me begin by saying that asking for guidance in this way is not childish.

Your boyfriend sounds very vulnerable and insecure, as demonstrated by his reactions when you’ve tried to break up with him.  The desperation is concerning.  Insecurity such as this can stem from prior insecure relationships or  sense of self but ultimately, it can be problematic for intimate relationships.  It can not only damage the relationship but reflects a scared, pained, vulnerable individual.   Clingy behavior can leave the other person feeling trapped.  The irony is that often the person’s desperation NOT to lose the other can cause just that.  It can become 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 for him (potential for self-harm, suicide, etc), get his friends and family involved as a support network.  If he threatens to harm himself and has a plan and means to do it, call 911.

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Need advice?  Consider a Relationship Consultation for guidance.

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of LoveAndLifeToolbox.com with tools for emotional and relationship health and is the author of Therapy-At-Home Workbooks® for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in CNN.com, HuffingtonPost.com, MensHealth.com and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers online therapy to residents of California.