November 23, 2012 - submitted by Francy, Italy

I have been together with my boyfriend for 2 and a half years now, and I'm in a strange situation. I no longer know what feelings I have for him. This has never happened to me before but, I always try to find times to stay away from him, and when I don't see him for a few days, I don't miss him.
If I do miss him I feel like it might be out of boredom. Now, my boyfriend has terrible anxiety issues and panic attacks, which make him unable to leave the house alone, however he is finally (after 1 year) starting to get better. I am scared that my leaving him will just worsen his situation and he will once more have a nervous break down.
I no longer know what the right thing to do is; wait for him to get better or just leave him and not worry about the consequences of my actions?

The Oracle replies:

A short answer from me on this subject. You can't stay with someone for fear of what will happen to them if you do leave. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but you're likely to do more damage to you both if you prolong a relationship that you're unsure of.
You don't "need" to worry about the consequences but that doesn't mean you can't be mindful of his fragility. I'd be amazed if you didn't think about how he deals with the situation but he will in his own way. That said, break ups aren't the easiest of things for most people so I'm sure you'll do it gently.
Over to you.

It really makes me sad to hear about the circumstances that have been placed upon you. And even thinking back on my own relationship I've seen to have grown too comfortable, and may have lost some feelings as well. If you still love your boyfriend as a good friend then treat him as such. I know you'll find a way to let him down gently. Also, don't feel like it's you're fault if anything happens. You could've led him on and no-one would be happy. Atleast this way you're preventing something more harmful to you both. This also might be a challenge because of his anxiety, but help him though it. Be there for him when he needs you and eventually it'll skin in that you're a great friend. Also, and I learned this the hard way, let him know that it's ok if he moves on. I hope it all goes well Francy. Billy N.

Sometimes we have to break something before it breaks us, sometimes we pass an accepted challenge stronger as we have ever been before.
I would try to distinguish: on the one hand your relationship, on the other hand your boyfriend’s disease and his cure.
Worries about his health should not be your only reason for staying. In the long run this could not be a solid relationship, which would be necessary to go through such a tough situation.
That last year was stress for you both and you might be just tired, but maybe close to the point before it turns much better. Obviously your relationship was not so very bad, when he is getting better now.
Still it sounds more like he needs professional help, a partner probably cannot handle this alone, or in the end both of you would need a therapy.
Anyway you should check up your own capacity and all eventually reasons for staying or leaving.
If you really decide to leave, it must be explicit for him too that a parting is the better decision for both.
Try to make your position clear with all help you can get, before there starts a vicious circle of waiting and trying to go. Best wishes. L.Q.

Love is complicated. When you love someone you can do anything just for keeping a smile upon his/her face. But, when the feelings are all gone or are not there anymore, it’s time to ask yourself… Are you happy? I had always thought that passion it’s the motor of life. What you do must be for your own good. Nobody’s more important than you. That doesn’t mean that you should be selfish, that means that your feelings, you opinions, your word and your heart come first. It’s true, it’s very difficult when the decisions you make for your own good hurts someone else that is important to you. It’s all a mess and you don’t even know what to do. But, after all there is always an answer. Maybe, your relationship isn’t working, but you don’t have to cut it off. You can still be by his side. Friends are always important. They support you, help you, understand you and more than anything, love you. So, I think that you should think about you as much as him. So, this way you will be free of finding love again and you’ll have one friend that you will support and that will support you. Hope everything turns up fine.
Love, Lyssete, Peru.

A friend of mine has been trough a similar situation with his boyfriend. The only thing I could recomend you is that you should think about your self for once, even if you love or loved him, so by anytime you have to leave him. Maybe in the future you can help him, as a friend. I know it's a difficult situation, but you are getting troubles due to other's problems. Do what makes you happier! greeting from Agustin, Argentina.

If you can find a way to communicate with honesty about your feelings it will save so much pain later. I don`t think many people want someone to stay out of pity, if they are honest about it. If you behave in a way which is respectful and sincere you can know that you have done your best in a painful situation. Julie.

Francy, I think in the long run you won't regret helping your boyfriend to get through his illness. I think you will be happier if you did what you could to help him rather than regretting sending him back deeper into his illness and putting your own interests first. If you're not sure of your feelings, there is the possibility that it's a phase your relationship is going through. Even if you were completely sure you don't want to together anymore, I think this guy would appreciate any form of support in his life and that you would therefore be a large part of this. If you were to hear that he had suffered a nervous breakdown after your relationship ends, I think the consequences would be worse than if you were bored of him occasionally while helping him to get better for a while longer. It sounds like a really tough situation to be going through. Good luck. Beth.

This is a strange situation indeed. The feelings you describe are really more about pity than love so if he had another illness would you stay with him? If he had cancer or something? This is not the basis for a lasting union. He had this problem before he knew you, he will have it after, be honest and cut yourself loose . You are not his therapist or a drug , you cannot cure him and it would be wrong of him or you to expect that . The fact that you don't miss him after being away from him suggests you need a change , it can be a mental drain to live with a person who has these issues , even if you love them deeply . You are thinking of the consequence of your actions but its not just his feelings you need to consider ...if you are not up to this it will begin to wear on you and you will end up resenting him. Not leaving him is not being honest with him. I wish you all the best as you wrestle with this dilemma, Laurie.

A hard decision. Sounds like you are at the end of this relationship. Guilt is making you stay with him. If you stay because of his problems you will start to resent him for this and it won't last anyway. Maybe you can stay long enough to get him some help for his problems, but eventually he will have to work through them himself. You can't do it, only he can. Good luck.

It sounds like you are both at a crossroad and journeying down separate paths at this point in your life. It is unfair on each of you if you stay with your boyfriend because you feel he is emotionally fragile and won't survive the break-up. Remember, happy relationships are based on honesty, and it appears to me that you aren't being honest with yourself. As difficult as it may be, you must remember that few people want to be in a relationship out of pity. Talk to your boyfriend and assure him that you will continue to support and encourage him as a friend, however, you need to rediscover who you really are as an individual so that you can be the best (platonic) companion to him as possible. You both need to be respectful of each other's life decisions. I wish you luck and send my warm wishes! Belinda.

Isn’t it funny how things seem to become so tricky when we care about people and don’t want to hurt them or their feelings! Sometimes by trying not to hurt people we can make even more of a mess of things! So I guess my advice to you is to be honest. I think when we aren’t honest with ourselves, or with others, or with our own feelings, it usually shows somehow anyway, and people can usually tell! Your boyfriend might already sense that something has changed in you and he might already be stressing over what it is, or what he has done to cause it etc! I would tell him the truth, and perhaps you need some time-out or away (without feeling guilty!) so that you can properly search your own heart and feelings. And, as much as you care about him and his welfare, you actually are not responsible for his actions/anxiety, but, you can support him as either his girlfriend or as his friend. (And besides, your boyfriend should have a good support network in place – a team of people, family, friends, professional doctors etc, and not just you!) all the best! love, Cali.

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