I’m 19 years old and I’ve been dating this guy for a year and a half. At first, we were totally in love with each other. With time, he started criticizing everything I do, he didn’t want me to talk to my guy friends, and he pushed my away from my girlfriends, too.
We don’t meet as often, we don’t have sex, and we kind of don’t care about each other as we did before. I didn’t want to break up with him because I’ve never had a boyfriend before, and I don’t think I have the courage to do it because I’ve tried a lot.
I’m not afraid of not being with him, but I’m afraid of being alone. I don’t feel happy as I did before. What should I do?
-Tina F. (Alabama)
Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:
Whether you realize it or not, you have already broken up. You’ve been weaning each other by seeing each other less. The sexual relationship has ended and, you said it, you don’t care so much about each other anymore. It sounds like this guy’s controlling behavior wasn’t so healthy anyway.
But the real question to ask yourself is why you would hold on to the threads of a bad relationship when a healthy, happy love is in your future?
And there is one part of your email that concerns me. You tell me that you don’t think you have the courage to break up with him and that you’ve tried to before. If his controlling behavior makes you afraid, you must go to your family and friends and ask for their support.
Be safe. Be strong. And know that you are completely lovable.
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