A lesser known risk of online first, meeting later
Dating apps have changed the way we meet potential partners. But, while they can help take some of the hassle out of meeting new people, there’s one risk you may not have considered. Apps like Tinder, OkCupid or Hinge can widen your dating pool by connecting you with other single people you might not otherwise have met. They can also give you information much faster than you might get it in real life. By the time you and a potential partner have decided you want to meet up, you may already have learned lots about each other that might have taken weeks in the real world [1]. This early interaction can remove much of the mystery of dating and help speed up the process of getting to know each other. It can also help to know that there is at least some attraction between you by the time you first meet [1]. Yet, relationship research has shown that this can set many online daters up for failure. Think about the process of building your own dating profile. It’s impossible to give a complete picture so you pick and choose – and, naturally, you want to present your best side. You select the best photos, make the most of your interests, and generally remain on your best behaviour while trying to convince potential matches that they should pick you. This is a normal part of the dating process but what you may not have considered is that we tend to idealise the people we’re getting to know through apps. As you get to know someone online, you build up a version of them in your mind, based partly on reality and partly on filling in the blanks left by their profile. Over time, this imaginary version can become very compelling [2]. When you meet, the imaginary version makes way for the real thing – sometimes, this will be a person you want to continue dating and sometimes it won’t. However, if your online interaction goes on for too long without meeting up, the imagined version gets so ingrained that the real thing doesn’t have a hope of living up to it. The longer you delay the face-to-face meeting, the greater the risk that you’ll be disappointed with each other, and the less likely the relationship is to succeed [2]. So, the next time your dating app presents you with someone you think you might like, don’t wait too long to meet them. Give them the best opportunity to live up to the version of them that you think you’ve been talking to and you the best chance of meeting the real them! References [1] LeFebvre, L. E. (2018). Swiping me off my feet: Explicating relationship initiation on Tinder. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(9), 1205-1229. [2] Ramirez, A., Sumner, E., Fleuriet, C., & Cole, M. (2015). When Online Dating Partners Meet Offline: The Effect of Modality Switching on Relational Communication Between Online Daters. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 20(1), 99-114.
Article | dating, online dating
“How do I leave him?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been in a relationship with a borderline alcoholic with a narcissistic personality for about 3 and a half years. We live together but spent the last month apart. I went to stay with my mum with my two cats and left him the flat. His drinking has become a huge problem and a year ago I received a serious health diagnosis which I've been trying to come to terms with. The main problem is that he is more interested in going to the pub with his mates than helping me cope with all this. It got to a point where he was coming back late at night completed drunk, waking me up or making me wait up before I could cook dinner for us because he hadn't phoned to let me know he was going to be home late, tripping over the cats and being a general nuisance. My health condition was brought on by extreme stress and he is only adding to that. If I am suddenly ill and have to go to hospital, I can't rely on him to be able to care for me or even be sober enough to call for an ambulance. I'm back temporarily but I asked him to still give me my space. That includes sleeping in separate rooms. So far I've been packing my things down into boxes because I don't want to/can't afford to live in our flat anymore. I want to move back to my home town, which he has known about for a long time because I told him before our break. What I'm finding now is that he's not actually respecting my boundaries and is now actively looking for flats in my home town for both of us to live in. What he's not understood is the fact I don't want to be with him at all and I want to move on my own. I'm trying really hard to not disrupt the peace in our flat at the moment as it just creates a volatile environment for not only me but the cats too. I've considered just taking a day off work when I know he won't be at home and just moving all my stuff out. After that I'd tell him it was over when he can't do anything to stop me. Has anyone got any advice?
Ask the community | breakups, big changes
“Ugly divorce”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I'm 35 years old and currently in the first stage of divorcing after recently deciding that my relationship of 13 years (7 years married) had to end. In the last 3-4 years my wife and me really grew apart and have started living separate lives. Whereas we were able to have good conversations in the past, this has been completely absent in the last years, years where personally I needed to be understood by my partner as I was facing a lot of stress due to work and an international transfer. At the same point in time we got our first child together which obviously added to the stress levels, and changed the way we were around each other. I have tried many times to tell her that I was missing attention from her, even though I eventually (this took me 6-12 months after birth) understood that the dynamics of our relationship had changed due to the introduction of our daughter. Unfortunately things did not improve at all, and we got into more and more fights (with words only, never any physical action), which led me to take more distance from her at the end of last year. This increased distance opened the door for me to make a mistake I had never thought I would make, I had an affair for a good 3 months. The affair has now ended, as we had started to seriously talk about us in the last few month. A process in which I confessed to her that I had an affair, and that my reason of initiating it was that I had already given up on our relationship. In this period we spoke a lot about the feelings we experienced in the last few years, and tried our best to have more time just for us. (so arranging childcare to be alone together). But even though talking about everything felt good and helped to relieve built up stress, it did not help me to get back some of the feelings I had for her. In the entire period I had very sparse moments where I felt there was an opportunity to move on, versus the vast majority of the time feeling it had to end. Two weeks ago I took the decision of completely ending our relationship as I have no more feelings for my wife, and am unable to see us having a happy and good future together for the next 40 years. As we are too distant from each other and don't really have shared interests. This decision caused a massive change in her behavior towards me, and she hasn't spoken a normal word to me since. The few times I have tried to speak about things, this immediately (give or take 30 seconds) escalated into shouting from her side, even with our young daughter present. The only thing she will tell me is: speak to my lawyer. At present the situation at home can best be described as absolute hell, we completely ignore each other and can't even be in the same room without her starting to be hostile. Therefore I have started to move out to a room in the neighborhood, hoping that more time apart might help to settle things down, whilst still being close enough to be able to assist with anything if required. I want the best for our daughter in the future and feel we need to make good arrangements about everything in order to accommodate her as good as we can. But I really struggle with my wife's behaviour as this makes it impossible to discuss potential arrangements in good fashion. Probably I need to give her more time to calm down, but she want to rush things and get divorced asap to get rid of me. What are my options here?
Ask the community | breakups, big changes
Mediation Information Assessment Meetings
Attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is now a requirement for most people wishing to take divorce proceedings to court.Before you can start court proceedings over money, property, possessions or arrangements for children, you must usually have attended a MIAM. These meetings are designed to offer help and useful advice. How MIAMs work At the meeting, a mediator will try to work out if mediation can help both parties reach an agreement. Depending on your preference, you can attend the meeting alone or with your husband, wife or civil partner. During the meeting, you’ll be able to find out more about mediation and ask questions about the process. They can also give you advice on other services that may be able to help you. After the MIAM After the meeting, if you and the mediator feel that mediation can help you reach an agreement, you can start mediation sessions. If you are not going to start mediation sessions and you decide to apply to court instead, the mediator will need to sign the court form. When you won't be expected to have a MIAM The court won’t expect you to have attended a mediation meeting if: A mediator doesn’t think the case is suitable for mediation and has said so within the past four months. Either of you has made an allegation of domestic violence against the other within the past 12 months and police investigations or civil proceedings were started. Your dispute is about money and either of you is bankrupt. You don’t know where your husband, wife or civil partner is. You want to apply for a court order but for specific reasons don’t intend to give your husband, wife or civil partner any notice. The court application is urgent because someone’s life or physical safety is at risk or a child is at risk of significant harm. The order is about a child who is already involved with social services because of concerns over their protection. You’ve contacted three mediators within 15 miles of your home and are unable to get an appointment with any of them within 15 working days. Source: www.gov.uk
Article | mediation, divorce
3 min read
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative to court where a separating couple appoints an arbitrator to make a decision on any financial or property-related issues.   It is different to mediation and collaborative practice because it will fix a final and legally binding outcome to the case (usually referred to as a ‘final award’), rather than the decision-making resting with you and your ex-partner. As with mediation and collaborative practice, you can’t be forced into arbitration. You must either agree who will arbitrate the issue, or have an arbitrator appointed from an independent panel. Once both of you have decided to use arbitration, the only way to stop the process before the final award is if you both agree. Generally, there is an initial meeting where information is given about arbitration and, if you both want to use it, the steps to the final award are fixed. Because the process is tailored to the issues involved, it is usually very much faster than the court process and can be a lot less expensive. The arbitrator can deal with very specific financial aspects of the separation, or with all of them. This is up to you. Arbitration is confidential and the time and location of hearings are flexible. Who are arbitrators? Arbitrators are usually barristers, solicitors, or retired judges who have trained and qualified as a family law arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. They also must work to a set code of ethics as family law arbitrators. How much does arbitration cost? The cost of arbitration varies across the country and from arbitrator to arbitrator. If you choose to go down the route of arbitration, the cost will be something you and your ex-partner need to consider. Do I need representation? It is possible and sometimes easier to present your own case in arbitration than at court. The procedure is more informal but there are benefits in having support and advice through the process. You should bear this in mind if you are thinking about family law arbitration as it would be an additional cost. How do I find an arbitrator? You can search for arbitrators via the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. What are the risks? There are risks with an appeal process, just as there is at court. Where an appeal process is needed, such as if the arbitrator has not acted properly or within the rules of arbitration, enforcement of the award may involve additional steps and therefore further costs. The risks and benefits are something that will be explained and can be considered at the first meeting so that you can decide if arbitration might work for both of you and your circumstances.
Article | arbitration, divorce
3 min read
“Ghosted after four years together”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My boyfriend and I have been together for 3.5 years. We are from the same city in the U.S. and about two years ago, he moved to Nigeria for a work assignment. We made it work because he visited four or five times a year. Last summer, it was my turn to go abroad. I was offered a unique experience to do humanitarian work in East Africa. It was only a temporary contract, but I went because of the rich experience I would surely gain. I took a risk to come, quitting my job, leaving friends and a place I called home for so long. My boyfriend was supportive of this endeavor. He said many times he was proud of me. We continued to talk every day, and he was extra attentive because he was in my shoes of moving halfway around the world not too long ago. So, we were finally on the same continent again. In February, we finally met in South Africa. It was our first time seeing each other since I had left the U.S. in July. The catch was that it was only for two days. We both had busy schedules and decided to give it a try anyway and meet up even for a few hours. The first day was very nice. It's always nice when you reunite. We went to the spa together and had lunch and dinner together while walking around Johannesburg. We had nice moments. At the dawn of the second day, I could already feel the pressure mounting, the feeling that time was not on our side. On the contrary, my boyfriend has always been the type of person who believes they have all the time in the world. So, he woke up early and left me for a few hours to play golf. That was ok with me. I had supported his love of the game and had also grown up on a golf course myself. I had learned upon his return that the subsequent plans of the day were to go shopping. I was to leave later that night. It was the fact that he didn't have anything special planned that bothered me. I grew upset. To me, he was throwing away a day, prioritizing everything else (his hobbies and chores) and not wanting to spend quality time with me. To him, we were an old couple and he expected that we'd be doing more mundane things together. I got so angry to the point that I refused to shop with him, choosing to stay at the hotel, because after all I came to see him not to go shopping. We fought. He said nothing makes me happy. He suggested I needed to work on me for a while and not be so focused on our relationship, not be so obsessed with it. We both know we've worked hard especially with the distance to make things work. I cried. We didn't part angrily. We actually mended things, or so I thought. We kissed each other goodbye. In the following few days, we exchanged the usual texts to see how each other's days were going, etc. I thought we dodged a bullet and avoided a break. On the fourth day, he just stopped communicating. I didn't know what was going on. At first I was calm about it, telling him that if this is a break we're taking, he can take the time he needs to clear his head. He never responded to any of my texts. There were many days where I felt so bogged down with sadness, but I didn't let it affect my work. I certainly had enough going on around me to be distracted. I don't feel I let my work suffer because of what was going on in my personal life. I was actually pretty good at keeping it private, but that came at the expense of suffering in silence and bottling up so that I spent many nights at home crying. I hadn't told anyone about what happened. Days turned into weeks and into months. We had never gone this long without communicating. We had a brief break right before he moved to Nigeria since he was unsure of the long distance, and it lasted for a month. This time, it's been four months. Waaaay too long. Not a peep from him. The man who was my best friend and confidant was gone. Actually, I didn't know what happened to him. Were we officially broken up? I was in the the dark. If it was a breakup, there was no closure, no definite green light to go ahead with my life. What was worse was that it seemed he abandoned me. This has been the most trying time of my life... being thousands of miles away from home, living in incredibly frustrating circumstances, and having to face big challenges everyday... and he wasn't there. I continued to text him even though I wouldn't get answers. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing he didn't block me. I made up excuses for him. Maybe he was giving us time to work on ourselves. He had a job search to think about with the upcoming return to the U.S. coming up in September and the whole idea of moving again. Maybe he was dealing with his kid's issues. He definitely was busy and didn't have time to deal with the standards I set for this relationship. At the three month mark, I started to become angrier. I went from thinking he just needed space to thinking he GHOSTED me. How could he leave without saying a word after almost four years together? More negative feelings began to take over. In my mind, he had already made up his and wasn't going to come back. Perhaps he had already moved on to the next woman, even with three months left in his assignment. I sent him angry texts accusing him of abandonment and being callous. At the same time, I made pleas, saying what I wanted from him. I said I only wanted to be closer to him and be more of a priority. I have spent the last few days feeling empty, feeling like my life has no direction. The life I dreamt with him would be left unrealized. At the same time, I have been pushing my stubborn self to let go. If he doesn't have the decency to communicate and if he is aware of the suffering he's putting you through, why put up with it? Giving the benefit of the doubt is why I'm still here. I don't have closure. I don't really know what happened. My contract is also up in August. I am now navigating my next steps. It can be a scary experience, feeling like you're free-floating with no direction in life. It's incredibly lonely here at this post, far from home and from friends and family. His presence would make things a lot better, but I know the burden is on my shoulders and no one else's.
Ask the community | dating
“Too soon to say ‘I love you’”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I recently met a wonderful lady through a dating app — about 2 weeks ago. We went to dinner, sports activities, long walks, talked on the phone for hours and everything had been great. She and I had very romantic get togethers where we exchange lots of passionate kisses & hugs... She is very funny but also a little unfiltered (very direct in communication and graphic sexual humor)... We exchange texts often throughout the day and it feels like we are truly a couple already! I got to the point where last night I told her “I love you”..... Last night she asked me over to her house which ended up with me staying over until 5am while her 3 kids (9, 13, 15) were asleep upstairs... I have not met her kids yet... (we have been on several “dates” while the kids remained at home unsupervised which makes me feel her priorities are unbalanced)... Last night ended up to be a very passionate night — too passionate. What I experienced was sensory overload which left me with feelings of guilt and shame — and she was all bubbly and loving it... My question is, do people end relationships primarily based on a complete mismatch on bedroom passion? And, is saying “I love you” after 13 days too early — and ending a relationship right after saying that screwed up? I appreciate your input in advance!
Ask the community | dating
“My girlfriend was lying to me”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi dear community i would like to share something that is braking apart my heart...I had a relationship over 6 years and yez is a lot...on our 5 year of relationship she lie to me...She was starting this whole thing about having her drive licence. At the beginning she was honest and was having school driving...Because she take personal form someone who is related to her when shes call out when she dose something wrong...but after a month she top taking the class's and she didn't say anything... She make this whole story that she was hanging with her friends from work, and they were letting her drive their cars. She was starting to get late to her grands home were she was living and the fact that she does not call or msg me at all makes me worry... Mostly when i never told her that she wasnt allow to do anything at all...she was totally free as i meet her...It came to the point that she wasnt answering mtly calls or msg, even turned off her phone. One day i decide to call to her work place, it was the GM that answered say that she left 3 hrs ago. I got sad and desperate and start calling a lot. She never answer any of my calls over a month...One night at 11pm she finally pick up her phone and her answer was this....(WTF you want) am not your wife to gave you explanations about what i do or don't...We broke up cause she was rebel...We were 5 months separate...I did my research and i found out the truth... The 30 of December 2 hrs before the end of the year. She call me crying because she miss me, that no buddy understand her like i do, that she doesn't feel comfortable with no one thats not me, that she can't see herself with someone else or me...Then she was very quiet...I told her you are quite because you want to come back to me and you are scared of being rejected...She said yez.. I ask her whos the guy that you were hanging with this whole time science the summer...when you told me that you were going out with the gilrs from work... It was an old friend back from highscool...He was the one taking her to work, home, using his car and everything else's...She said that she was scared of me getting jealous not allowing her to learn how to drive...When thats non scenes know whow I've been to her science i meet her...But that wasn't rhe end or everything...She did have a relationship with him those whole month while we were separate...then i ask her did you sleept with him...Answer (YES)
User article | trust
“Have I ruined the relationship?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi, So me and my boyfriend have been together for just over a year and a half now but at the beginning of the year we broke up for a while. He got busy with work etc and one day he suddenly asked me if it was the right time to be in a relationship. It was a real shock for me because we had been so close for so long before that and from that day it just went downhill, he never made time for me, would be online and not reply and just generally seem very uninterested. I have always been very open and honest about my feelings so I would confront him about it however he would get annoyed with me and say I was overthinking or I would ask too much. After months of me trying to make enough effort for the both of us and feeling so low and unworthy he broke up with me (over text) saying the situation was not right. I had felt so low for so many months because of everything that when he did break up with me I decided I couldn’t keep feeling like that anymore and that I was not going to sit around being sad when I knew I had tried my best. I started going out with my friends, being the one ‘not seeing’ his messages for a change and genuinely feeling so happy and relaxed for the first time in so long. After a while he messaged me apologising for how he behaved and saying he wanted to get back together. I wasn’t honestly sure how I felt about getting back together because of what happened but I was honest and told him that in the time we were apart I had kissed someone that I met on a night out (not long after we had broken up). He was devastated when I told him, I didn’t expect him to take it well but he took it very very badly. We ended up getting back together but he still feels I have ruined our relationship through my actions and that he cannot trust me now. It’s been a while but the arguments still happen over this and I know he looks at me different. For me it’s frustrating because the issues he brought to the relationship are now ignored because he believes what I did is so much worse. Also because I did not tell him until he mentioned getting back together he says that I was lying to him during that time. (Also this might sound dramatic to some people but I think it’s partly because this is our first relationship so we are each others first kiss etc. now that I have kissed someone else I think that has ruined it for him a bit) I know it was close to when we broke up but I was single and not through my own choice, I had been sad and had felt like he had broken up with me months before he did and finally I was going out and having fun and not caring about him constantly like I had been. Have I ruined the relationship? Was what I did wrong? Can it ever be the same after this because I don’t know if he’ll ever forget? Thank you, this is causing me a lot of stress
Ask the community | trust
“We're on a break but she's dating”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My gf took a break from me (via text) and she told she doesn't know what will happen! Long story short, I live in Berlin and she lives in Tel Aviv and she is older than me by 4 years (I'm 22) and we are dating for a year and a half (and lived together in my flat for 4 months+many visits), and this “break” is going since 2 weeks, i was very hurt when she took this decision and cutted any contact. She started texting and calling after few days - I didn't answer. After a week she sent me a recorded message, crying that she is going through a hard time and she wants to talk and blablabla, since then we talk almost everyday (fucked up right?), and today i just asked her: OK, so we are in this break already 2 weeks and that i want her to make it clear for me, if she allows her self to date other guys in the meanwhile, she told me "I don't know, I have to think about it" and she told me that she disagree with me that its cheating if she do date (maybe she already did) other guys during the "break", and i told her that she is making me lose my trust in her saying that stuff, and gave her "deadline", to tell me until tomorrow, what is her clear position, and I clarified to her to consider it breakup if she do want to date other guys during the break. So guys, whats your thoughts? (i never dealt with such situation). P.S. I got many signs also that she is narcissistic.
User article | communication, long distance
The leaver and the left
When you and your partner reach the decision to separate, you may both be in very different places, emotionally and psychologically. Although people go through similar stages of adjustment, couples often go through them at different times and with different degrees of intensity. Understanding how this affects you can help you to avoid some of the common misunderstandings that arise during this difficult stage. The leaver The leaver is the person who initiates the split. They are likely to have been unhappy in the relationship for a long time before the separation. During this time, the leaver typically goes through stages of dissatisfaction, sadness and worry as they detach themselves emotionally from the relationship. By the time the split happens, the leaver has already worked through much of the emotional loss of the relationship, and is able to move on from the breakup much more quickly than their partner. They may experience great guilt and sadness, but there will also be a degree of relief. Significantly, when the separation happens, the leaver is several miles down the road of adjustment to this major change in their life. The left The left, on the other hand, may have had no idea that the relationship was in such trouble. They might accept that the relationship is not perfect but still feel that there is time to work on things, or that the relationship is just going through a difficult stage. The left’s reaction may be shock, disbelief, and anger. They may still hold some hope for reconciliation. Their life has been turned upside down and the process of adjusting psychologically and emotionally to the separation is only just beginning. Significantly, they are at the start of a road that they did not choose to walk down. What this all means The leaver, who is psychologically prepared to move on, may not understand why the left is so emotional. They may be disappointed that their offer of friendship is being rejected. They may complain that their ex is not accepting the reality and getting on with things. They may become frustrated and impatient for decisions to start being made about the future. For the left, however, this emotional stage can be far more intense and is likely to last longer. The left may feel that their ex is cold and unfeeling and that their distress is not being acknowledged. They may have lots of questions to ask about why the relationship has ended which they are not getting answers to. Their feelings of rejection can be intensified if they sense that their ex wants to move on quickly. They may feel that they are being forced into thinking about issues that they are not yet ready to deal with. It’s too painful for them to move on, and they may need some time alone to adjust. Misunderstanding each other’s different emotional states can lead to communication problems, adding further complication to an already difficult situation. Whether you are the leaver or the left, give yourself the space you need to move on, and remember that your ex-partner is going through an experience very different to your own.
Article | breakups, big changes
4 min read
“Moving on after a breakup”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I met someone who made me feel so loved and special when they met me. At that time, I was so confident and full of happy prospects in my life. They came into my life and became so attached to me. It was the first time that I received so much affection and attention from someone, and I easily reciprocated. I cared, went out of my way, and gave them my all. Two years later, it seems I have given too much that I no longer know myself. My priorities are always second to theirs. I could always wait for them even when they never waited for me. Despite taking me for granted and making me feel so isolated, I always go back to give and forgive them even more. How did I end up to be the one who is more attached? This person only thinks of me when they are lonely. Our last conversation ended when I told them that they had completely forgotten me, and I will forget them too from now on. They responded ‘ok’ and left. I regret expressing my foolishness, as if it mattered whether they would approve my decision or not. To be honest, it doesn’t hurt me that they left as much as they coldly obliged to it. Were they just waiting for this moment? Was I such a horrible person to be with? I can barely imagine the confident and happy person that I was before I met them. I feel so caved in, antisocial and unconfident in my own shoes, as if I have failed so much. My abilities to work or operate other aspects in life has also decreased drastically. I just needed to express that here, in case someone could share their wisdom with me. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Ask the community | ex-partner
How to reduce stress during separation
Splitting up with a partner is a stressful process whether you were married or living together. If you are ending a marriage, rather than a cohabiting relationship, you may come into contact with divorce lawyers at some stage. Using collaborative (rather than adversarial) lawyers may help you and your ex-partner avoid getting into long, drawn-out battles that could be difficult for the whole family. When ex-partners take control of the situation and communicate in a respectful way, separation or divorce is likely to be quicker, less expensive and less stressful. This isn’t going to be realistic for every couple but if you can agree some basic communication rules at the start of the process you may be able to avoid a longer battle. You may find it useful to take a look at the Getting it Right for Children course. The course will show you how to work on core communication skills that can be useful throughout the separation process, including: Staying calm and listening Seeing things differently Speaking for yourself Sticking to the point Negotiating Working things out The legal side As well as setting some ground rules with each other, it’s a good idea to read up on the legal side of things, so you feel more in control of your divorce or separation. The Legal Ombudsman has a downloadable guide that can help you decide some key decisions and what to think about when using a lawyer to help with your separation. The guide is based on common issues and complaints including finances and property, and includes top tips to help make the right decisions during the divorce process. You can download a copy of the guide from The Legal Ombudsman.
Article | separation, divorce, stress
2 min read
“I can't stop grieving”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My ex broke it off about six months ago. We had some contact since then and about two months ago we met up and slept together. We started communicating more after that but had an argument the following week and he just cut contact. He said he couldn't talk to me and I said if he couldn't then he had to move on from me. I got no response back and he hasn't made contact since. I feel so hurt and still stuck in limbo. I'm so sad all the time and can't talk to anyone about it. I told my mum I was depressed about it still and her reaction was "Well, it's been a long time", as if I shouldn't care anymore. But I can't stop hurting. Today is really bad. I started taking St John's Worts about a week ago as I've been really low for a while now. The relationship was on and off for a long time. He wanted me back about a month after we initially split with me, but I didn't go back because he had finished it so many times and I couldn't bare the on off anymore. Now I'm lost. The reality of not being with him hurts even though being with him hurts too. Has anyone got any advice for how I can move forward and stop this pain? Do I contact him to get closure, or should I just let him go?
Ask the community | ex-partner
“Was it his depression?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I was dating my ex for around a year and thought we were strong and suddenly four weeks ago he dumped me by text and said he wasn't in love with me and never was. Some background to this. We met last year and neither of us were looking for a relationship it just kind of happened both of us had been badly hurt i was in an abusive relationship and felt i couldnt trust anyone but he was different and i fell in love with him and we were happy so i thought. I knew he suffered depression as do I but we seemed perfect. Then his father had a stroke and weeks later we found out cancer on the brain and lungs caused this and he died within 4 weeks of us finding out. I helped nurse his dad daily and he asked for my help and supported my partner throughout and was with him when he passed away at christmas. I did everything to support him i even collected his dads ashes as he couldn't face it. He became depressed and withdrawn and a bit cold towards me emotionally and physically he lost interest which i completely understood as he was mourning his dad. Things seemed to be getting better then suddenly he told me he didnt love me and i was to needy even though i was there at his request constantly and i can find someone who will treat me like i deserve to be treated and loved and he didnt want a relationship or intimacy with anyone at the minute and hes not even sure what the hell he wants in his head and needs space. As you can imagine its broke my heart im in love with him and adore him like mad and i dont know what i did wrong. But...now he cant stop texting me daily and wants to spend time with me and wants my help and advice and he texts me every day all day and even last week while he was in spain he spoke to me and text me as soon as he got off the plane and wanted to see me as soon as he got home and i stupidly went because i love him so much and he said he wants me in his life. Hes also going off to Paris in a couple of weeks to sort out and run a new business and has to be there for two weeks and home for a week for the next 3 months and im so confused with what's going on with his feelings towards me as he obviously feels something but im scared to ask because i dont want to lose him completely. Could his depression have made him say those horrible things to me as ive never said a bad thing to him and we've had one fight in all that time and i dont know what to do as i dont want to be with anyone else but him. Will being patient make him realise what hes lost with me? Help..
Ask the community | decline, depression, personal struggles
“I regret my decision to break up”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My now ex-girlfriend and I had a really strong relationship until the beginning of this school year in September when things began going downhill. We had a relationship for over a year when I decided to end it about 2 weeks ago. After many ups and downs, and getting through a lot of rough patches, I finally pushed the decision to separate after these reasons pushed me to: Throughout the year, I was feeling more and more uncomfortable with the way she behaved around other guys at school. To me, it seemed she was being really talkative and flirtatious, which made me really uncomfortable. She claimed that it was just a part of her “personality” when I approached her about it and that she is just friendly, but it still seems to me that her behaviour around other guys and the amount she talks to them is a bit too much. One of the hardest things to get around that caused me to want to break up is my distrust in her when it comes to seeing other guys. About a month ago we went through a large rough patch when she got in an accident and totalled her car. Instead of riding the bus, she decided to get a ride from another guy that she knows I do not like, which I cannot keep her from doing as it is her choice, but was frustrating and made me uncomfortable. I didn’t find out until about a week later she had gotten more than one ride from him since the accident and did not tell me she was doing that. I already felt unsure about my trust with her and if she had been cheating or seeing other guys behind my back before this, although I have no evidence I just have a gut feeling with no explanation. There are several other reasons for our break up like her friends disliking me, and her making friends with people I know are up to no good. I claimed she is irresponsible, and she claimed I was overreacting about these things. Lately though, I have felt like I regret my decision and want to be back with her because things seem harder when I’m not dating her, but only when our relationship doesn’t introduce more of a problem. My questions are, why do I feel that she’s cheating on me without evidence? Do I have reason to be mad at her for what she’s done? Should I get back together with her or is this a lost cause? I am really stuck and the amount of emotional turmoil I feel is going on right now is making it hard to see the answers to these questions clearly.
Ask the community | trust
“When do I cut the cord?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My boyfriend went on vacation for two weeks with his family. Suddenly I felt so relieved that he was gone. He was playing video games a lot and appearing very addicted and more into them than life itself. We had a lot of arguments about playing a healthy amount and he only resented me for it. I started carrying negativity around with me because of him without even realizing it. I felt like he loved me because of how he’d look at me after a fight - that twinkle and long gaze still in his eyes. I thought he loved me when he’d tell me how beautiful, hot, gorgeous I was and would wrap me in a big bear hug. I thought he’d love me when he’d regularly go grocery shopping with me and help me cook each meal. I felt like we were a real team. However other things can drain even these special moments in a relationship. He would make false promises about when he would be done his game late at night. He would be inconsiderate about me getting my sleep. He didn’t seem that interested about my job and at his worst said, “I don’t know how much longer I can handle being married to a teacher”. He didn’t see me for me anymore. I’d text him things during this vacation that were of interest and when we’d finally talk a few days later he wouldn’t even think to ask about them. He’d also decide to end the conversation when he was ready - this most recent time because he wanted to go and eat snacks. A much more courteous thing would have been to ask if there is anything else I wanted to say or ask if we were done and to set up a follow-up phone call. Nope, just goodbye and that’s that. I’m at the point of not wanting to care anymore but still caring that he has treated me like shit and dragged me through his depression and stress of the last 8-12 months and still is just barely average on the scale of being a considerate boyfriend (in my eyes at this moment). I get together with friends who make me feel much more heard and interesting. They do it by truly listening. They do it by admiring my profession - many of them are in my profession and they understand its meaning and power. I find myself with someone who wants to hide out in the virtual world playing video games, while I’ve been going to work and slaying dragons face to face daily. I told him on the phone today how it felt nice in some ways to be alone because I didn’t have to worry about being disappointed or dishonoured anymore. He just brushed it off as if it was no big deal. He didn’t want to acknowledge the ugliness of his ways. His false promises. I’m stuck thinking about the seemingly perfect guy he was for the first 2.5 years of our relationship who morphed in the past year into someone very reserved, depressed and obsessed with World of Warcraft. I don’t even think it matters now that the obsession is World of Warcraft. I think it could be anything and his value of me would instantly sink to being second on the list. I’m at a point where being single might actually be better and yet I have my hand holding onto this heart that feels so nice to have my ear pressed against. A warm body that feels so good to snuggle. Someone who loves me without makeup and accepts my healthy diet goals and eats the same way. Someone who values meditation as I do. Yet someone who keeps fucking up, acting selfish and immature and not learning from their hurtful mistakes. This vacation came at a bad time where I feel abandoned. He was just starting to make positive changes - he threw out the weed he had secretly been smoking twice a day (sigh), and was doing enemas and the sauna treatments for the healing program he is on but was not doing properly a year ago. I just feel worse after talking to him. I feel like he is an asshole. I actually hate him for all he’s done or hasn’t done. When he is in the apartment with me you let it go. You are kind to the person in front of you. Now that he is gone however, it sits there and I am full of rage for someone who couldn’t understand my values or concerns or worries. I am reminded of how he has made me feel unheard, powerless, as if my job is insignificant and as if I just can’t compete with his hobbies which are clearly so much more interesting if he has trouble pulling himself away from them to interact with me. I am the prize he thinks he has won and suddenly got too lazy to keep happy. He reads all the self-help, deep quotes, and insightful videos I send him and agrees with their messages or says he finds them inspiring. But his words mean nothing now. They mean absolutely nothing. So I look to his actions and feel disappointed. I see the same selfish ways in the little things. “I’m hungry, so I guess we should end this conversation so I can go get snacks”. Lame. When do I just cut the cord, cry over what never was and move on? OR when does he finally find ways to snap out of the depression and become the kind and considerate and present person he once was? I can’t tell if I am a fool for giving up on someone who is about to be spiritually reborn and awaken from the darkness, or if I am a fool for wasting my time in something that was never meant to be.
Ask the community | addiction, communication
Housing issues after separation
The risk of losing your home, and uncertainty about where you will live, are major worries when a relationship is ending. One short-term option is to carry on living together until you’re ready to physically separate. Many couples find this breathing space useful to find out more about their options before making any big decisions. Although this arrangement can put quite a strain on a separating couple, it can give children a chance to get used to the idea of a separation while both parents are available to answer questions. If you want to leave the home quickly, speak to family or friends who may be able to offer you a place to stay. If you are at risk of violence or abuse and need to leave immediately, you can contact a support organisation like Domestic Violence Helpline, Women's Aid or Refuge. Alternatively, you can go to your local council for advice. Longer term options will depend on things like whether you rent or own your home; whether the children will be living with you; your financial situation; and what your rights are. You can check how these factors affect your personal situation at gov.uk. Broadly speaking, your options are: You stay in the house and your partner moves out. Your partner stays in the house and you move out. You both leave and find two new places to live. One of you moves out, but keeps the option of returning later. If you own your home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be sold when you separate, and the person whose name is on the tenancy agreement doesn't necessarily have to be the person who stays there. Understanding your legal position and the financial consequences of any decisions you make will be an important part of the negotiations with your partner.  A family mediator or family solicitor can help you take a realistic look at the options before you decide on the best option for your family. You can find information about your legal rights online at Shelter or gov.uk. You can also speak to someone at Citizen’s Advice, or contact a solicitor who can help make sure you understand your rights around the family home. 
Article | housing, domestic violence
3 min read
“The man I loved kicked me out”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I need anyone's advice or some kind words to help me thru this.. 1 week ago the man I loved with all my heart and soul (father of my 4 Y.O. son) said he wasn't happy and basically kicked me out telling my son "go with your mom". I love him so much even though very early on I seen all the signs he was verbally abusive and heartless from the beginning but for some reason I put up with all of it. I was a stay at home mom for 5 years taking care of my daughter from a previous relationship and his son also from a prior relationship (I potty trained him and love him like my own son)... To sum it up, every time I got a job he was jealous so I'd quit.. he always took his exes side but she would drop off their son with me when it was convenient to her. He told me I was ugly stupid, a bitch, dumb, and that he wished he knew how I really was before he met me, that I tricked him into getting me pregnant. After my son was born I had post party depression and It never went away. Evolved into depression. I'm only 32 years old but I've already gone thru menopause ( my dr says it's from all the stress and complications from the abortion he made me have) so I gained weight and lost my self esteem and the little confidence i had. My daughter chose to live with her dad instead of seeing me so unhappy. Still I loved him and had the house clean and washed ironed his clothes. In my eyes he was absolutely gorgeous and too good for me. Even though he is bald and desperate to turn back time by working out daily and applies hair regrowth (secretly) every day. I felt myself slipping deeper into depression and feeling useless. I stopped going anywhere with him, feeling too far or ugly and embarrassed. I felt him getting fed up and disappointed in my appearance and I didn't have ambition to even get out of bed. He told me he was unhappy n that i needed to leave. Since he paid for all the furniture i wasn't allowed to take anything. He wouldn't look at me and told me I was a pussy for caring about him so much. I know I sound so stupid after everything he's done to me and its clear I love him way more then he loves me but I'm having a really hard time not texting him. We have a previous court order in affect stating he only see our son 3 hrs a week supervised visitations but my son asks for him and I've let him take him for a couple hrs each day hoping he will show some remorse but he goes back to making me feel beneath him. I feel like I am better then this but it's really hard knowing I've put my all into a relationship and someone who can care less about me.. please help I need advice
Ask the community | breakups, verbal abuse, contact
“Long distance issues”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi there.. so I’m a 20 year old girl and i have been talking to a guy online for about 3-4 years. We had an on-&-off “virtual” relationship until we decided to finally meet last year. It only lasted a week but it seemed so perfect for both of us. Now I should probably mention that my boyfriend is an FTM transgender and is struggling with depression, anxiety etc. and he also has a very unstable living situation. I am supposed to travel to see him tomorrow (after 3 months being apart), but a week ago he asked me if we could “go on a break”. He said the relationship makes him sad because I can’t be there with him. He said he doesn’t want to break up with me and that he still wants me to visit, but he wants to be “on a break.” Now i am severely confused. I understand that he is struggling and i want to support him, but i am really scared of what’s going to happen when I go there. I don’t want to have travelled so far and then have to stay away from him while I’m there because of this break, when we are finally together after so long? I have never loved someone this much before and I’m scared I’ll get my heart broken again. I already fell apart when he asked for the break.. he told me everything would be fine and he doesn’t want this to go on for long and that he just needs some time but am I wrong to be worrying so much about this? I’m just really scared I’ll lose him.
Ask the community | breakups, big changes, long distance, LGBTQ+
“Fiance wants to break up over strip clubs”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Please help me make sense of this. I am a 33-year-old lady. I am doing well for myself. I have been dating this guy for about a year now. He calls me his wife material and yes, we are talking about marriage. But I discovered something about him like four months into our dating, and that has been an issue for me. My boyfriend likes to go to the club, especially strip clubs every weekend.I find it a very bad habit but he says its just to chill out. That he does not mess with the girls at the club. He has invited me to come with him to the club but I declined. Last week, he organized a romantic proposal for me at a five-star hotel. It was the best, it was so beautiful. But I declined the proposal even though I accepted the ring. I told him I would only marry him on the condition that he stops going to strip clubs. He said that is not possible, that no one can tell him what to do or what not to do. He said if I am not comfortable with his lifestyle, I should forget about him. Now, I am thinking, should I break up with him or leave him to his bad habit. Apart from the strip club, this guy has been very good to me. What do you suggest I do?
Ask the community | breakups, big changes, pornography
“Broke up my ex, now I want him back”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   So I have been dating my current ex now for a short period of 2 months and it was long distance. We were hooked up by close friends in hopes of finding a lifetime partner. My understanding of that was that, we were both searching for marriage type of commitment. Within the first month of our courtship, he mentioned he wanted to be exclusive. I was happy to hear that. The following month, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Immediately after, that we broke up. I called things off because I stumbled upon a message from another woman pouring out her heart to him the first month we were together. I thought nothing of it because our relationship was something still very new. Maybe he hadn't quite figured out what to do about that situation yet. I figured that eventually he would dismiss it since he didn't seem to be paying much attention to her. When he came to visit me, I noticed that the same person was still messaging him. As opposed to confronting him right away, I asked for his phone (never ever again!). He kept saying it wasn't an issue to see his phone but when he noticed how serious I was about seeing his phone, he changed his tone. I ended up dropping him off at the airport in a rude way and broke things off. Within 24 hours, he called to apologise for not allowing me see his phone but I wasn't having that apology because he was apologising for the wrong thing. After a few calls back and forth, he finally came clean about the other woman. I was willing to overlook simply because it was a new relationship, sometimes people have it harder letting go of their past. (At least that was my thought). After he came clean, he disappeared on me. He barely called and now he's completely stopped calling. I've reached out to him multiple times. He finally called me two weeks later after we broke up to say I wanted the apology in my own words. I tried to reason with him but whenever I tried, he shunned the conversation. I eventually told myself to stop calling him. He reached out to me a few days back but I was playing hard-to-get. I tried calling him the following day, we spoke briefly but he had to go stating he'd call back which he never did. It's been a month since we broke up and its been 3 days since we've had any dialogue with each other. What do i do? I can't stop thinking about him.
Ask the community | saving it, trust
“He left. What happened?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Four years ago I started a relationship with a man outside of my marriage. We have been totally committed to each other even when he moved overseas with his work. It has always been a very intense and caring relationship and we were working towards being together. I recently left my marriage as we are part of the LT plan and at the same time he was moved again with his work to the other side of the world. Now he says while he loves me and cares for me deeply that he needs me to let go of him so he move on and find someone who he can share his life with now not in the future. He claims the last 18 months of being apart have devastated him and he can’t do it for another 3 years. I’m having difficulty seeing his reasoning given how he says he feels about me and how I feel about him. We can continue to see each other frequently (I cannot move with him as I have 2 kids) and in another few years we could be together permanently as planned. I feel like I have given up so much to make this relationship work based on the commitment we continually made to each other over the years. There was no sign that he was intending to leave.
Ask the community | drifting apart, decline, long distance
“End of marriage”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My husband and I made the decision to separate late last year and have recently moved out. He has now needed to leave town for work. Our separation came at the end of a long relationship that began 14 years ago (at 16 and 25) and has putted along, not altogether unhappily but with discontent and basically living completely separate lives for the last 5 or so years. We have one child together who is intense behaviourally and he has not been supportive of my struggles with her, so I have worked part time and managed her as best I can while he has worked full.time and pursued his own interests and hobbies at leisure, never feeling that time at home or helping with our child should be prioritised. Last year it culminated in him travelling overseas several times alone and having a relationship there which has now ended. I see this as the catalyst for ending our relationship but not necessarily the whole reason - none of it would have happened if we were happy together. I don't feel as though we have ever been able.to bring out the best in each other. When he first wanted to separate, I was sad (mainly for our daughter) but worked through those feelings, developed peace with the situation and our need to separate and some months later (officially separated but still under the same roof) very tentatively began a new relationship. After this started he backflipped and said he wanted to be back together. He thinks that he is ready to change. The relationship has been up and down basically since the beginning and I honestly feel like the best thing for both of us would be to peacefully and amicably let it go and work on reconnecting him as a parent. I am ok with the whole thing - a little sad but also excited about rediscovering old hobbies, making new friends, starting a new job and seeing how my very cautious new relationship develops now I am living alone (well, with my daughter). He is not emotionally expressive like me, is holding on to a lot of regret and sadness and is really struggling. I am really worried that he won't be ok on his own, and I still care about him deeply and this hurts me a lot. I guess what I want to know is: How do I know if we have made the right decision? Should I get back with him again, do heaps of counselling and really, really try to make it work (obviously ending the new relationship I have begun, which I would struggle with at this point) for his sake and for our daughter? My gut feeling is that if we did this we'd just be delaying the inevitable. If not, how do I help him move on from the relationship? We obviously are still communicating because of our daughter. And how do I go forth and be happy with someone new when I can't shake the feeling I've left a trail of heartbreak behind me? I know this is too long (and yet still so much is left out)! I don't really expect anyone to have the answers but any ideas or experiences would ve helpful. Thanks 🙂
Ask the community | breakups, marriage, divorce, parenting apart
“Unsure of what I should do”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 3 weeks or so. At first, everything was nice and he was sweet to me. I helped him with his depression and he recovered. When I talked to him about our relationship issues, he would get angry and let it out on me, making me upset. Later on when he calmed down, he would attempt to flatter me in order to forget that I was upset and how he yelled at me. He claimed he had this darkness inside him, yet I do not believe it. The so called "darkness" was his anger which he used as an excuse to say whatever he wanted to say to me and "forget about it". Only when he saw me cry my eyes out, did he respond by hugging me and attempting to comfort me. I also began to notice a pattern of when I offer advice and suggestions to him, he would say I'm lecturing him and snap at me for "trying to control his life." Once I tried to give him advice about taking partial custody of daughter and he exploded on me, once more. I recently began to think back and notice these patterns. He would feel bad, only after he hurt me and knew that I was upset. I don't like this and I'm unsure of what I should do. I don't want to be with him, yet at the same time I want to attempt to work this out, first. I've been looking at girls and guys, instead of him and I'm not sure why. Should I stay with him or break up and move on to something happier?
Ask the community | drifting apart, decline
“Breaking up will break him”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years, when we met we weren’t in great places. And since then things have gotten better for both of us, but my boyfriend still struggles with a lot of things like alcoholism and is continually having lapses and promising not to do it again. Where we were living we both had jobs but they were 'nowhere' jobs. And we lived with his mum, struggling week to week. I reached the stage where I was ready for more, I didn’t want to keep living like that. So I found a a good government job in the capital, one that sets you up for life. I talked it over with my boyfriend he wasn’t keen at first, but agreed that it was a good idea and that I should go and he would follow in a few months. It’s been a few months and after a huge argument over the phone it’s come out that he wants to be with me but doesn’t want to move using the excuse there is no work there for him. He then confessed that he doesn’t actually want to stop drinking and wants to stay home and live with his mum. We love each other but I have realised that we want different lives, I know the right thing would be to break up but I love him so much and I don’t want to see him waste his life which I know he will if he stays there. And I am scared if I do break up with him, he will really go off the rails.
Ask the community | decline
“Devastated and feeling lost”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hey All, I'm new on here. Feeling pretty low at the moment. My husband and I have been together for 23 yrs, married for 13 years this yr. In November 2016 (yes 14 months ago!!) he started talking to me differently, really short, came across as quite rude actually - treated me like I was a piece crap on the bottom of his shoe. At first I let it go. I thought maybe he was having a bad week in work. Then I noticed things getting worse, I'd walk into a room, he'd walk out. He'd slope of to bed without telling me he was going to bed, he started sleeping in the spare room. Then we had to spend the weekend with friends we hadn't seen in a year. This I thought was going to be very bloody painful - pretending that we're all good and everything was fine. We got away with the whole weekend, our friends didn't suspect a thing (sadly). I was dying to talk to my friend, but at the same time didn't want to spoil her weekend. When we went home, he was a little more civil to me, at least he would stay in the room when I walked in, and I noticed his tone of voice was a little nicer than the short horrible tone he'd be using before the weekend away. He spent pretty much the whole weekend on the sofa with my friends hubby - this was very normal for them two though... have too many beers and they pass out! I had to now get through Christmas and New Year for the sake of our children. In fact, the 'events' just didn't stop there. We had a family wedding to go to in the Jan and several 'big' birthday's to get through - all close family. So we got pretty good at faking it. No-one ever suspected there was anything wrong. Hubby's mother hadn't been well - she got pretty bad in the new year actually around the time of the wedding - and this is another reason why we continued to fake it. I say "we continued.." as usual this was an unspoken thing. In fact - it had been 3 months and I hadn't said a single word to him about what was happening to us or asked him why. I just couldn't bring myself to ask him, because it would then be an airborne thing... and I genuinely convinced myself... today might be the day that I get my old hubby back and this nightmare will be over. I told myself this everyday for 6 months. I couldn't take anymore. I looked stressed and had broken down in tears to two close friends. I hadn't told anyone anything about our relationship. Just kept it to myself until one day I turned up for my nail appt and my beautician asked me what was wrong. "You've got to talk to him to find out what's wrong" she told me. I knew this, I knew I had to do this but just could never bring myself to ask him. He no-longer wanted to 'go-out' with me, so date night had long gone, he was letting the kids stay up past 10pm on weekends just so that we wouldn't have 'that' conversation. It got to May 2017 before I finally plucked up the courage to ask him, what was wrong. He claimed a few tangible things... kids have got too many toys/there's too many clothes in this house/why is the cupboard in the kitchen a mess and he felt that he never saw any of his money and was upset some months we went over drawn by around £200-£300. This was it!!!! The next day I started a clothes amnesty in the house - 5 bags went! I sorted the kids toys - even did an early morning car boot sale to sell them. I sorted out the kitchen cupboard, sorted the finances so we didn't go overdrawn anymore... and then I realised... why hadn't he addressed any of these issues? Why did it have to be me that did the clothes/toy amnesty/sort the kitchen cupboard? By Christmas 2017 (13 months now passed) I realised it was never about those things, he clearly doesn't love me anymore and hasn't got the balls to tell me. So, we're now 15 months into this "co-existing" relationship. Its made me ill, I've been off work all this week with what I first thought was flu, but I feel physically drained, and I've been sleeping for approx 3 hrs in the day and getting a full night. This situation is now making me ill - perhaps stressed induced, or depression is seeping in. I'm not sure. I've not spoken to him about the situation since last May! I know I need to raise it again, but why is it always me. I've read blogs where wives have been devastated their husbands have told them 'I don't love you anymore" but you know what... at least you know where you stand. We're sleeping in separate beds still... "because I'm ill and he doesn't want to catch it!" I'm sure several of you have thought he must have a little thing on the side - trust me, my husband does not have a single minute spare... every minute every day is taken up with work or kids. He goes to the gym couple of times a week but I'm pretty sure theres nothing there. He goes there when his class is about to start and come straight home. It's not in his nature to cheat. He hates cheaters. I've never cheated on his either. I'm lost. I feel empty. I don't know what to do, I don't want to break up the family, but likewise, how can you love someone that does this to you FOR 15 MONTHS with no real explanation! I don't want to cause his mother any undue stress that would make her illness worsen, but I can't continue living like this. Any helps/ideas/tips would be greatly appreciated. As a final thing to note, we never argue, we both hate confrontation. He was my first proper boyfriend - so I've never split up from anyone!
User article | drifting apart, decline
“Girlfriend gave oral sex to her colleague”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi everyone, This is my first time posting a question. I have been going out with my girlfriend for just under 6 years now and we have had a very stable relationship minus a few rough patches due to stress from everyday lives such as work and money. Over the last year or so we haven't really been spending that much time in the bedroom, sometimes this was due to me being preoccupied and other times her. We decided on having certain intimate nights at weekends and one in the middle of the week which I thought had brought us back to our once comfortable sexual lives. The last 2 months I've been changing jobs and have been extremely stressed after work and sometimes spent the majority of weekends applying for different roles and spending a lot of time on the phone, this is where I think the problems may have started to begin. Due to me being very busy my partner had decided to work some overtime too for extra money and to give me more time to myself (or so she had said) this was usually 1-2 nights mon-friday anywhere from 2-3 hours per evening. To cut a long story short she recently left her skype open on my laptop and she had been talking to a good girlfriend of her's about us and how she wasn't happy and how she'd been going to a colleagues place for an hour or two after work and had really gotten to like him and had developed sexual feelings for him.. without going into the details of the full conversation she had been visiting him at least once a week at his flat and performing oral sex on him after watching a movie or after he cooked her dinner. Part of the conversation was how she didn't want to pursue relations with him but really enjoyed his company and pleasing him in such a way for cooking her dinner and keeping her company and how it made her feel really good pleasuring such a nice guy and how it made her feel very powerful and attractive. Her friend was actually very shocked and didn't really condone it but the part that really hurt was that I know she was coming home to me after seeing him and I feel very betrayed knowing I've been kissing her and such without knowing. Needless to say we've now broken up and she seems truly sorry and is even willing to leave the job she works at in order to distance herself from him but I am truly lost as to what to do. Any advice would be great! Thanks
Ask the community | sex, cheating
“How do I forgive cheating?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Me and my girlfriend have been together for 10 years, living together for almost 4 years now. I am 32 she is 29. I have recently found out (from her friend) that she has cheated on me with an older man who lives down the street. They had sex in his van, a friends car and our bed, of all places (while I was in work). I dont know what to do. She has apologised etc and said it was a mistake and it went too far, she said she enjoyed the attention but not really the sex. This guy is pretty ugly etc I dont understand. I had my suspicions as I found a pack of condoms in her bag, one missing but she lied saying they were her friends, since realised they were hers and one was used with him. I am devastated as I thought we were happy, she lied to my face when I accused her with no evidence, it wasn't until i told her someone had told me about the affair that she admitted it. She has told me it finished after the last time and there has been no contact and deleted his number. We are still together trying to rebuild our relationship. We have decided to move but will take well over a year to sell our house etc. I see this other guy almost on a daily basis, he has no idea that I know about their affair, i see his van and knowing they had sex in it is a constant reminder, I struggle to sleep in our bed knowing she has been with him in there. I really dont know what to do, I have so many questions. Should I ask all these questions, even ones relating to the sex they had, or should i try to forgive her etc. It is so difficult with all these constant reminders and the fact I know the other guy. We have so much history together and this is the only time any of us have cheated but how can I deal with the lies she told me and the constant reminders of him living down the street while we still live in this house? Thanks
Ask the community | sex, cheating
“Having an affair but can't leave marriage”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I really need someone to put my life back on track, to turn me back into the mother and wife I once was... a year ago, all that matters to me was my family whom I took pride in and would do a lot for them without expecting anything in return. After all, love is unconditional and as a mother, its my job to love, care and protect them. I didn't even ask a lot from my husband nor did he expect a lot from me. We were just in a good marriage, hardly any arguments between us and we took pride in our parenting and are proud of our beautiful, bright children. It all started when a single dad at school confessed to me that he finds me attractive and admitted fancying me for a while. It all came as a big surprise to me as I do not expect a mum like me to still have "admirers". Although I turned him down but since then my confidence grew and I started enjoying the fact that I can still attract male attention. Six months ago, I met William. I was very much attracted to him, physically and sexually. We started off texting back and forth, first with light and gentle flirting. We met up for a few drinks now and again and have a good time laughing and flirting. Then it soon developed into a bit more and more and then more. I am not one into casual flings or reckless, irresponsible behaviour but then suddenly before I realise, I found myself having an affair with William. A proper full blown affair. By the time I asked myself "what have I done?", it was too late. I have already slept with him. I know it was all principally and morally wrong. I know I have done something very bad and my husband would not forgive me if he knows what had happened. I asked myself what do I want from this relationship with William? Is it just purely for sex? Physically, we both look good together and we are both in lust with each other although William said its not just about that. He said he cares about me and wanted to see me every weekend. He kept telling me he misses me whenever he is not with me and he would send me daily texts messages which were all very sweet to read. I thought I was falling for William because I can't get him out of my mind and I really love being with him. I am so attracted to him that no one else can catch my attention because my heart and mind is just set on him alone. The problem is I can't seem to leave my marriage because I don't want to break my family apart and let my kids and husband down. What I have is beautiful and to destroy it could be the biggest mistake and regret in my life. Yet I can't stop contact with William no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up going back to him again and again. It is like an addiction. Maybe I am in love with him but I am just in self denial. Although William has told me he loves me but he doesnt convince me enough that our relationship has a future. Although I can see myself (on my own) with him but I can't see my children in the picture. William is a single guy, still living a bachelor life and there is no way he would swap his convertible two seater sports car into a family car. Everything in his life is that of a bachelor; even his bachelor pad is so unchild-friendly and immaculate that I can't even imagine my kids sitting on his leather creamy sofa. I can't even see him swapping his bachelor pad to a family home. All signs are telling me is I am a "current" girl he is currently seeing until he finds himself a single girl he is willing to settle down with. I have somehow raised that issue in a joking way with him and of course he denied it. I didn't press him more because I don't want to spoil the fun between us. Also I felt I have no right to press him for commitment when I myself am still married. He did say to me before that I should make my mind up on what I want in life or with my relationship and he is jealous to imagine sharing me. There is no sharing. I have become even more emotionally and physically detached from my husband. Thinking back over the years, we have grown apart emotionally and intimately. There is hardly any connection between us and I am no longer attracted to my husband in a sexual way. No matter how I want to try with him again but I just couldn't find myself interested in the whole idea. I think its because I am so distracted having William around. Sooner or later this is going to come out and my husband will find out what I have been doing. I really have to decide what I want in life but at the moment its nearly like saying wanting to have the cake and eat it. In my dream, if I can, I would just walk away from my marriage and start a new life with William but I cant leave my children behind and it pains me to imagine letting my husband down because it would be a blow to him. It would kill him if I leave. Also, is William the kind of guy who is worth sacrifising for? That question has been hanging on my head. If I leave my marriage for a guy who is worth every tear and pain and manage to have a good relationship and lead a happier life with.... that would be beautiful but William might not be worth the sacrifices. Should I confront William and ask him to be honest with me on what he wants? He got to give me some kind of commitment. Part of me thinks if he can't commit on a long term thing with me and include my kids in, then he is a waste of time and effort. He is just not worth it. But to raise all these with him mean potentially I am at risk of losing the fun I can have with him. And if he said yes he is ready to commit, do I really have the heart and courage to leave my marriage and tear all their world apart? Please please please have anyone been through similar experience or can someone wake me up?
Ask the community | sex, cheating, marriage
“Can this relationship be saved?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Perhaps you've always thought it would be simple. Your partner has destroyed your trust and you should walk away. However, when faced with the cold hard reality – rather than what you might have imagined doing – it all seems more complicated. There's the children to consider, your already-stretched finances and, deep down, you still love your partner… but staying hurts so much. Alternatively, it's not one thing but years of disappointment and trying to make your relationship work on your own that has worn you down. You thought that you'd 'just know' when enough was enough but it's not that simple. Although you don't really want to leave, you're frightened of wasting even more time and emotional energy on a relationship that could be going nowhere. So how do you cut through the confusion and make a decision one way or the other? In my twenty-five years as a marital therapist, I find people get stuck in the ’should I stay or should I go?’ trap because they are looking at their relationship like a judge: guilty or not guilty. However, it is better to be like a doctor: how healthy is this relationship and can it still be saved? So how do you make a full diagnosis? Look at the following five questions: 1. Are you concentrating on what your partner has done rather than why? When a relationship is in crisis, it's easy to catalogue your partner's bad behaviour or many faults. However, it is much harder to stop and ask why he or she has done something. If you do, it's easy to come up with one damming reason: ‘he doesn't love me anymore’, or ‘she wants to hurt me’. But look at your own motivations for something. There are nearly always a multitude of interlocking reasons for doing anything – some positive, some defensive, and some angry. However, while we're prepared to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt – that basically we're good people doing good things - we can view our partner in very black or white terms. Could he or she be frightened (and like a cornered animal lashing out)? Could he or she be desperately unhappy (and doing things, however stupid, to feel better even though they make matters worse)? If the answer is yes – then there's still hope for your relationship. If when you look at why rather than what, the answer is your partner is a serial perpetrator of domestic violence, you should most probably leave. 2. Why do your arguments just go around in circles? Most relationships fail not because couples are wrong for each other but because they don't know how to argue properly. Fortunately, good communication skills can be learned. Start by solving small niggles – like how your partner loads the dishwasher – as solving them will give you confidence to tackle bigger ones. Stay with one topic at a time and resist the temptation to throw in, for example, ‘leaving dirty clothes on the floor’ and ‘dirty cups on the coffee table’. It will help if you deal with problems as they occur rather than allowing them to build up and letting everything come out as an angry torrent. Alternatively, the problem might be that you're convinced you're right and your partner is wrong. No wonder neither of you will back down! Instead, imagine –even for a second – that there are lots of ways of doing something, and discuss the alternatives. 3. Have you really tried everything? It might seem you've explored all the possibilities but most people have simply used the same failed strategy over and over again - just bigger and bigger. For example, shouting louder or sulking for longer. Sometimes, they throw in another strategy – ignoring the problem (hoping it will go away) or persuading themselves it doesn't matter (and becoming resentful). These might work in the short term but cause despair and relationship break-down. Instead try the flop flip technique. Take the 'flop' behaviour and 'flip' it over, ie do the opposite. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you try. Anything is better than the same old rut and getting the same old response. 4. Are you confusing thoughts with feelings? Feelings are emotions like happy, sad, angry, frustrated and numb. They are often located somewhere in our body - like fear in the pit of our stomach. While thoughts are opinions, beliefs or expectations and are located in our heads. Feelings are often telling us something and should be listen to, whereas thoughts can be based on incomplete evidence or poor logic and should be challenged (rather than accepted as the gospel truth). Most importantly, feelings burn themselves out. It is impossible to be angry forever. Even in the worst times, another feeling will come along (if only for a few minutes). For example, we can still laugh in the middle of infidelity. However, thoughts can last to our dying day. For example: ‘He should have told me he was unhappy rather than seeking comfort from another woman’. Unfortunately, many people confuse their thoughts and feelings by putting ‘I feel’ before a statement. For example: ‘I feel you're in the wrong’. Not only does this increase the stakes but makes you feel even more stuck. 5. Do you have enough love to give without getting anything back – at least in the short-term? If you have children and they're arguing, you don't go into all the rights or wrongs but ask one of them to the ‘big one’ and make the first move towards reconciliation. In effect, this fifth question is the key one. If you still love your partner enough to be the ‘big one’, then your marriage can most probably be saved. If all you can think is ‘after what he's done’ or ‘what she's said’, then either it's too soon after a nasty discovery (and you're still in shock) or your marriage is truly over. However, I'd like to think that just the fact that you've searched for and found this article means that you do want to change your relationship and that means there's still hope.
User article | saving it, trust
6 min read
When relationships end (and what to do next)
After a breakup, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions as you come to terms with the fact you’re no longer a couple. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and feelings can fluctuate constantly. On any given day, you might feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, anxious, or even relieved. When a relationship ends, many people experience a sense of loss and disappointment. It can be difficult to let go of the hopes and dreams you had for your relationship and look towards a new and uncertain future. Even if you were the one who ended the relationship, or you know it was unhealthy, the fear of the unknown can be harder to bear than the unhappiness you felt in the relationship. You might start to wonder if you have made the right decision. Both of you will miss things about each other, even when there’s a new partner involved. You may remember things you loved about your ex only when the relationship is over. No matter how happy your new partner makes you, it’s OK to miss some aspects of your previous relationship. But, while the leaver and the left may share a sense of loss, these feelings are likely to be more intense if you didn’t choose to end the relationship. You may feel out of control and, in the immediate aftermath,  it’s hard to minimise this feeling. Your routine has been disrupted and your life has changed. Psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Janet Reibstein explains: You haven’t planned for things so the chaos will be that much greater, the grief will be that much greater, and you’ll be going at a different pace. However, it’s often the emotional, rather than the practical, loss that feels most painful. Dr Reibstein recommends allowing yourself time to grieve your loss. It’s fair to say that, normally, as with a death, people go through the mourning process or readjustment and come out of it alive, and sometimes better off. Tips for dealing with a breakup: Take time out to grieve Recognise the intense and conflicting emotions you’re feeling and accept that you won’t be at your best for a while. It’s OK to give yourself a break. Remember that grief lessens with time It might seem easier said than done, but try to remind yourself that things will get easier after a while. Don’t go through it alone Isolating yourself can make the grief harder to cope with. Call on your support networks to help you get through this difficult time. If you don’t feel you can share your feelings with family or friends, head over to our listening room and speak to one of our Click Listeners.  Remind yourself of the future It may be hard to let go of the hopes and dreams you held for your past relationship, but it’s important to remember you have a new future to embark on. In time, you will have new hopes and dreams to replace the old ones. Find new interests Try to see the breakup as an opportunity for new beginnings. Take up a hobby that attracts like-minded people; get into sport and revamp your image; or use dating or social networking sites to make new friends – these things can help improve your confidence, take your mind off the breakup, and encourage you to have fun again.
Article | breakups
3 min read