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I want out of a long term relationship - but can't get the words out

Community Member

Hi team,

Firstly thank you for stopping by and checking out my thread. This is my first time utilising these forums so a tad nervous.

Over the last 12 months it has become increasingly clear to me that I want out of my long term relationship, for which we have been together for 9 years. And I feel absolutely smothered in guilt and fear that I am in a position where i cannot find the right way to explain this to my partner. It has not been a comfortable period for me personally, losing jobs, Covid-19 restrictions etc. I figured that the 12 month period would be tough on anyone and it was OK to accept the fact that this is just the way things are and they will evolve/reset back to normal.

We have spoken on several occasions about our relationship, including what has been lacking, constructive feedback and goal setting. But as much as we agree on knuckling down and working hard together to move forward, we always end up back in the same position. More to the point I end up back to the point of not being as happy as I used to be. Admittedly more recently she has put more effort into the relationship and I have been aware of this for some time, and it has become quite obvious.

Through no lack of discussion and observation of each other, the flame or desire for this relationship has dissipated over time. What would seem a reasonable straight forward conversation to have (as much hurt as I would experience) I'm resistant to have this as I fear what would happen to her, considering the lack of support she has around her (family, friends). Another reason my guilt overwhelms me.

Any advise or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Chopper2020,

Welcome to the forums– glad you decided to come here and share. The ending of a long relationship is always devastating, and being the one to initiate that has its own set of challenges. I can tell from your very eloquent post the consternation and pain you're dealing with, and how hard the past year has been. One thing that doesn't come through to me, though, is uncertainty.

It sounds like you both have tried hard to make this work, and that although you have anxiety around the conversation itself, you have decided for yourself that this is the right move. Start with that and hold on to that. Perhaps this is even a conversation she herself has thought about, and similarly struggled to get the words out. Unless you have good reason to be concerned for her mental health, I think it is sensible to steel yourself and just start a fairly casual conversation that eventually leads to the topic of your relationship.

It will be painful and uncomfortable, but if what you say is true about this long-lasting relationship just not seeming to click anymore, there's no need to feel guilty. As long as it is done in good faith, this is a selfless thing to do for your relationship, especially if you want to continue to be in one another's lives going forward. That said, I also think that if you have been together for so long and she has few friends and family, you may be called upon to be part of her support network– obviously less than ideal, but I think a fair obligation to someone you have shared your life with for so long.

My thoughts are with you during this tough time Chopper2020, and I hope you'll come by again to keep us updated.


Hi Gems,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

You have articulated this is a very simple, yet clear manner and I do appreciate that. The conversation just needs a beginning and I hope that this will be the starting point for a better future for both of us.

I will ensure to return in the near future to provide an update. In the meantime thank you again for you words and support.

Hi Chopper,

So glad to hear that– that's what we're here for on the forums! As you say, the conversation just needs a beginning. You will find a natural way in eventually.

If you think of it, please do keep us in the loop, or if you need any additional advice or support.



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Chopper2020,

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad run of things, with losing your job, and then obviously the Covid pandemic, which hasn’t been easy on any of us. The end of a long-term relationship is a sad thing, when the rose coloured glasses come off and we see the real person and realize they may not be as compatible with us as we once thought. Would you say that is the case with you and your partner? What do you feel is lacking? Would you say that you are a generally happy person otherwise?

The reason that I ask these questions is that I have felt the same in the past, and mistakenly thought that it was my partner who was making me unhappy when in reality I was unhappy with myself. This obviously make not be the case with you, but I think it’s worthwhile exploring before the end of a 9-year relationship. You also do seem to have a partner there who is willing to make an effort to improve, and that is a good quality to have in a partner. What was it that drew you together in the first place?