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relationship SOS Dear Maura: My girlfriend can't stand me but doesn't want to break up

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Sad couple mad at each other in their living room

Sad couple mad at each other in their living room

Sad couple mad at each other in their living room

Maura O’Neill has been responding to a wide range of problems and issues for the past 20 years as Agony Aunt with the Sunday World. With a Higher Diploma in Education and counselling qualification she also draws on her own life experience in responding to readers’ letters.

Dear Maura,

I'm a bloke and I'm writing to you because I can't understand my girlfriend - soon to be ex-girlfriend. We row all the time, and I mean the whole time.

No matter what I suggest about going out, what to eat, what to watch on the telly, there's always a row. She's never happy, or at least never seems to be happy, with me. I decided to do the decent thing and let her go; end the relationship because there was no way either of us could survive the amount of arguments we were having.

But - and here's where you come in - whenever I hint that we're better off apart, she gets all upset. Why, when a few minutes before, she's saying she never wants to see me again? I just don't get it, but I do know I have to get out.

What's going on here? Why will she never accept that we are over? Why would you want someone in your life that you can't stand, and she tells me that, but then she wants me to stay. I am ending this because it's a joke, but can you shed any light on what's going on?

MAURA SAYS: I am glad that you have the courage to take a stand and call a halt to what is going on here. You are not happy, nor is your girlfriend, but she wants to hang on no matter what.

It's like she pushes you to the point where you are ready to walk away, and just then, she begs you to stay. She can't live with you, she can't live without you.

Is she afraid of being on her own, not having someone special in her life?

Everything about your relationship is unsettling. Nevertheless, she wants to hang in there. Choose your words carefully and explain that the rows are not doing you any good. Do not suggest taking a break or a breather. You both need out.

  • Want to get in touch? E-mail maura.oneill@sundayworld.com.

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