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Feeling guilt over wanting to leave

Community Member

Hi All, I previously posted about having issues with my partner of 10 years (see "Not sure if I can support him anymore"). Over the past few months, I have been seriously thinking of leaving him, but whenever I think about it, I just feel so guilty and it's driving me crazy.

The thing that almost tipped me over the edge was the fact that I was really upset a couple of nights ago and I was crying. My partner came into the bedroom and asked if I've been crying. I told him yes and it was because whenever things seem to look up, it all comes crashing down again and I was sick of it. All he said was to get over it and just walked out and went on with whatever he was doing.

The thing that gets me is that he constantly tells me that I'm not supportive enough and I've turned into a selfish b***h. He says I've changed and that I used to be such a nice girl. I think he's actually just missing the girl that would just agree with him and do what ever he wanted me to.

It feels like he doesn't care at all about my feelings or opinions or even that I'm the one that's earning $$ to support both of us while he's at home. He's constantly telling me how lazy I am and that he does everything around the house. It's like he has selective memory because it's me doing all the running around paying bills, getting groceries, and on my days off, doing ALL of the housework so he can have a break.

The main reason I feel guilty is because I know how hard he will have it financially and he has no other support apart from me. I also worry about how he'll cope emotionally.

I'm scared of how things will be for both of us if I leave, but more scared of what will happen if I stay. I just feel so trapped.

I've tried talking to him, but he just keeps telling me, to think about him and not be so selfish.

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi CtrlAltDelete,

I can't remember, does he have a mental health strategy? I would be frustrated too if I was you, I would need to see he is actively recovering, especially if he is going to talk to you like that. For instance, is there a plan for him to do some housework or finding some employment?

You are really thinking about your choices which is tough I know. It can only help you to have more understanding about the way your partner is behaving and also the guilt you feel about potentially leaving him. It takes two to keep a loving relationship together, if he is not willing to play his part then it makes sense that you might be happier separated, I don't think you are responsible for how he is or how he will care for himself, you are his partner not his carer. Of course he may need a carer if you separate and you might be able to help him to find one.

If I feel trapped I try to remember my choices, there are always choices, I make sure I am actively making a choice, I could leave this instant if I had to, but I choose not to, I choose to stay, so now I can get on with staying!


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi again CAD, yes I do recall your past post

Emotional blackmail is a serious guilt trip. So serious it was included as a full chapter in a book printed for "greater religions of the world" a few decades ago. I was 27yo and went to a group therapy night over the issues I had with my mother. After my short talk I was handed the book and told to read chapter 3. I did and it became clear to me. My mother was a master at making me feel guilty. And it worked so efficiently. Now 32 years later I've been separated from her for 5 years and life has been stable, slowly the guilty feelings are drifting away.

The issue you have is that when you have ha an emotional upset the 'normal' thing for a partner to do is comfort. That's why you are with a partner, so you don't carry on with your life alone and with no such security. Without knowing his views or personality it is hard to comment much further, its something for you to work out and make decision on. However your only "yardstick" or gauge is society itself. Do you have enough confidence to judge his actions or inactions as being lacking? Do you know for certain you have done everything to make the relationship work? Are you being fulfilled? Do you feel used?

Write out a list of questions you are dwelling on at this time. Put things to paper.

Sometimes one person knows the triggers for the other. He seems, from your account, that he can leave you filled with guilt at his whim. This could be control but it seems if he knows you don't have confidence he can take advantage of you and leave you emotionally a wreck. Is that love the way you dreamed it would be?

Whatever your decision is you need to step up and dig deep with courage. And remember, if you are told what is right or wrong about how or what you think,...you should reply that you are an individual and you think the way you think and believe what you believe and should not be told how to or what to think. You have rights and individuality is a basic right that only you with your lack of mental strength can allow to be taken from you.

Weaknesses in some are obvious to some others. A partnership is to work together to achieve happiness. Happiness is made up of working as an near equal team for a common batch of goals. If the ship is lopsided to much it will capsize. If the ship is never cared for the paint will peel. If only one engine out of two ever runs it will wear out.

Tony WK


Community Member

Thank you WK and Jack for your replies.

No he doesn't have a mental health strategy. He just says no can help and can do it on his own, but in the past 5 years nothing really has changed.

He rarely talks to his family and not at all to mine which is hard as I worry he won't have any support at all. My own parents are very supportive to me and have said they will do anything to help me if I choose to leave him.

I have read quite a bit about emotional abuse and feel like this might be the case when it comes to our relationship. He questions everything I do and I feel like a have to ask permission to do things without him and basically just makes me feel bad for wanting some independence. I've gotten to a point where I was scared to even ask him if I could go to a work conference which required me to stay overnight as I knew he would just say that it would be an excuse to cheat. So I just made an excuse to my boss as to why I couldn't go.

I dread going home after work and I hate feeling like that! Home should be a sanctuary not a prison.

Its horrid & hard, I didn't want to give up on my relationship.

I got myself to a therapist & financial adviser, that made things very clear for me