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Guilt over leaving partner

Community Member

I F23 and partner 24 have been on a nice long road trip to see my family over the last two weeks interstate. We have been together 9 years and living together for about 6. Durring the past month I have been experiencing a lot of emotional abuse, more than usual and I just feel exhausted. I have been planning on leaving him in a few weeks time to go live with my family but when the day comes I don't know if I can do it. I'm scared if I stay its going to continue to get worse and eventually lead to violence as his dad is violent to his mum and previously to me. I am just confused as I was so set in leaving him but I am really worried he will be too sad and of hurting him. I want to stay friends so bad as I still love him but am not in love anymore. I've begged for years to see a counsellor together but he refuses. I have been going to one by myself though who is concerned for me about my partner.

I believe I will be okay but I have this guilt and worried it will hurt him. I also worry I am a bad person wanting to not be in a relationship anymore. He does a lot of nice things for me and feel like I owe him for everything he's done for me as well. I don't like it when hes not nice but he can be really nice too.

I also would take my dog with me and I feel really bad but he doesn't feed her, buy her food, clothes, treats, pay for insurance and she's in my name... but I feel so bad separating them. But I know I wouldn't cope without her either. We couldn't do custody either as I'd be living interstate and don't want to stress her even more. He works full time while I study at home so spend all day with the dog...

Has anyone got any advice I am so stuck and lost. Anyone else been through something similar?

4 Replies 4

Dear Freedolphin9,

Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members. This is a safe space to share and express your own feelings, struggles and experiences without judgement.

We hope that you know, no one deserves to be abused emotionally or otherwise and you should prioritize your own safety and mental wellbeing in this regard. We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer 24/7 confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice and support to anyone who has been through trauma like this. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit  https://www.1800respect.org.au/ .
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If you need more immediate contact, please use our support service either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
We hope that you take the time to acknowledge all the hard work and effort you have put in just to get to this point.  We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community, we’re all friends here.


Sophie M


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Freedolphin, living in an emotional relationship is never pleasant, because you're not sure what may happen next and can be quite frightening.

If you want to leave him then that's a decision you've made, it's not so much about worrying about how is feeling, you need to look after yourself.

Being a nice person doesn't outweigh when he's the opposite because that's what you are scared of, and if the suggestion of seeing a counsellor is denied by him, shouldn't mean you don't get the help you need.

Your dog is your companion and need to have her by your side.

Can I ask if you have suggested separating and if you don't feel this would achieve much, then it's in your best interests to leave him, then it's possible he might seek a counsellor, but being in a happy relationship where the two people can connect and trust each other is so important for our own mentality.

Would be really happy to hear back from you.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Freedolphin9

I feel for you so deeply as you face such tormenting internal conflict. Making such a life changing decision can become so exhausting, so I hope you're managing to take good care of yourself throughout this process of deciding what to do. When the problems in our relationship are all we can think about and they consume just about our entire day, things can definitely become exhausting.

The fact you've asked him to attend counseling in the past speaks to how much you wanted the relationship to work and how much you really care about him. I'm glad to hear you're seeing someone who can help you manage in growing/evolving your self. I think even if our relationship's not working the way we'd like, it's so important to continue working on developing who we are as an individual. I've found the more I developed (in better understanding myself and my needs) the greater the distance that developed between myself and my husband, as a consequence.

Freedolphin9, the decision maker for me came down to one major revelation 'If I manage not upsetting him I have nothing to fear'. When I heard myself say this in my mind, I was actually quite shocked. While I've never had to fear physical abuse, there are those moments you may be able to relate to yourself

  • Fearing and feeling your partner walking out of the room when you feel the deep need to work through a challenge that you know will serve the relationship. The feeling of being left alone to work things out can become depressing, with elements of hopelessness
  • Fearing your genuine feelings are going to be belittled or shut down, which can feel heartbreaking
  • Fearing that if you fight with your heart and soul for something that means the absolutely world to you, you'll be verbally and mentally abused within that fight
  • Fearing the expression from your partner (in one way or another) things are never going to change as far as they're concerned. Being told it's you that's creating the problem and there's no need for change

and so on. It's sad when we can hear our self say 'I have nothing to fear if I keep my mouth shut', which is definitely no way to live. It becomes depressing.

I can relate to what Geoff mentioned, the choice between a complete separation and one that offers space to work things out (living apart), so as to reform the relationship. This is something I mentioned to my husband. If he chooses not to change, I simply don't return. Hard to be in love with the person who brings you down.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Freedolphin, when you want to leave someone in a r/lationship, you have made that choice, it shouldn't be about feeling guilty or if it's going to hurt him, you have decided this would be your best option, it's about you that needs to be considered.

As therising has said 'if he chooses not to change, I simply don't return', and this doesn't mean for a day or so, it means permanently.