You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…
I have been in a relationship for the last five years with a man I don’t love. I know that’s my fault and I can explain part of the reason, but I do not fully understand my own actions. I am 4 years older than he is and when we met all he had was clothes in a bag. I had an apartment, a job, a car and everything else. I tried to look past that hoping it would change. He does have a job but his child support take half. I am the one to take care of bills, home, food, you name it, but he only helps out a little. We have a 4 year-old together and he is kind of an aggressive talker. He’s never physical with me, it’s just the tone he uses that I don’t like. My 15 year-old could care less bout him. I’m unhappy and I feel held back and bored. He has really no where to go and I know that’s not my problem but I don’t see a future with him so how do I end this?
Dear Lost Sis,
Unfortunately, you have spent 5 years of your life taking care of someone you don’t love and you are not married to. The reason is simple! You took on this man as a project and now you have a problem. You saw what you identified as potential without realizing that potential is just potential. It means nothing and has no value until it is put into action and get results. The tell tale signs of a problem were clear when you accepted him and he moved in with his clothes in a bag, no apartment, no job, and no car. You choose to look past all of that because you saw “potential”. You had a child together and have worked to pay the bills and take care of your 4 year old, your 15 year old, and your boyfriend. I am glad your boyfriend is working now but that is not enough to meet your needs. Now that you are tired of your situation and realize that your boyfriend’s potential may not become any more than mere potential, you are struggling to end the relationship. This is likely related to some guilt feeling about moving on with your life. Rest assure, you can not afford to allow guilt or fear keep you stuck for another 5 years. It is time for you to have an honest conversation with your boyfriend and share how you feel. Most of all, share what you plan to do given your feelings. I recommend that you seek individual psychotherapy to process and understand underlying emotional issues that resulted in you taking on a 5 year “project”. If you want more in a relationship, do not settle for less! — Dr Sherry
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