Too Good To Leave Too Bad To Stay Book PDF - INFOLEARNERS (2022)

Few have written with such common sense and clarity about how to come out of the trap of ambivalence in marriage. I’ve recommended the book to colleagues and clients.—Cloé Madanes, co-founder, The Family Therapy Institute

A wise, compassionate, and very readable book. It will bless many lives.—Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

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Kirshenbaum’s expertise allows her to pinpoint the pertinent questions…. And threaded through the book, which is written in a sympathetic, chatty, accessible style, are validating anecdotes that dramatize how other people have experienced and responded to the same problems the reader is going through.—Publishers Weekly

Braving her detailed questions about power, betrayal, communication, respect, intimacy, and love can transform the frustration of being stuck into a decision that feels right.—Booklist

Packed with meaty case histories.—New York Daily News

No fairy dust here, but a real chance for healing what Kirshenbaum calls ‘the pain and waste of relationship ambivalence.’—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Interesting reading and helpful in the way a good therapist can be helpful—by asking the right questions, by clarifying the answers.—Olga Silverstein, family therapist, author of The Courage to Raise Good Men
About the Author
Mira Kirshenbaum is an individual and family psychotherapist in private practice and the clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute in Massachusetts. She is the author of four books, including the phenomenally successful Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, and has appeared on many national television shows, including The Today Show, Maury Povich, Geraldo, Sally Jessy Raphael, and an ABC News special with John Stossel. She is married, has two grown children, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
Title Page
Copyright Page

Chapter 1 – Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?
Chapter 2 – Dancing in the Dark

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Chapter 3 – Enough Is Enough
Chapter 4 – It’s Too Late, Baby
Chapter 5 – Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love
Chapter 6 – You’ve Got a Hold on Me
Chapter 7 – Talk to Me
Chapter 8 – What Is This Thing Called Love?
Chapter 9 – It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing
Chapter 10 – All the Things You Are
Chapter 11 – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
Chapter 12 – You Say Tomayto, I Say Tomahto
Chapter 13 – If Ever I Should Leave You
Chapter 14 – R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Chapter 15 – Who’s Sorry Now?
Chapter 16 – I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Chapter 17 – Love To Love You, Baby
Chapter 18 – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Chapter 19 – Next Steps

A wise, compassionate, and very readable book. It will bless many lives.
—Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Kirshenbaum’s expertise allows her to pinpoint the pertinent questions…. And threaded through the book, which is written in a sympathetic, chatty, accessible style, are validating anecdotes that dramatize how other people have experienced and responded to the same problems the reader is going through.
—Publishers Weekly

Braving her detailed questions about power, betrayal, communication, respect, intimacy, sex, and love can transform the frustration of being stuck into a decision that feels right.

Packed with meaty case histories.
—New York Daily News

No fairy dust here, but a real chance for healing what Kirshenbaum calls ‘the pain and waste of relationship ambivalence.’
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Interesting reading and helpful in the way a good therapist can be helpful—by asking the right questions, by clarifying the answers.
—Olga Silverstein, family therapist, author of The Courage to Raise Good Men

MIRA KIRSHENBAUM is a psychotherapist in private practice and the clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute in Massachusetts, where much of the research for this book was conducted. The coauthor, with Charles Foster, Ph.D., of Parent-Teen Breakthrough (also available in a Plume edition), she lives in Boston.
Also by Mira Kirshenbaum
Parent/Teen Breakthrough: The Relationship Approach
(with Charles Foster, Ph.D.)

Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand

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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England

Published by Plume, an imprint of Dutton Signet, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.
Previously published in a Dutton edition.

First Plume Printing, July, 1997

Copyright © Mira Kirshenbaum, 1996
All rights reserved

The Library of Congress has catalogued the Dutton edition as follows: Kirshenbaum, Mira.
Too good to leave, too bad to stay : a step-by-step guide to help you decide whether to stay in or get out of your relationship / Mira Kirshenbaum.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN: 9781101128367
1. Man-woman relationships. 2. Relationship addiction.
I. Title.
HQ801.K57 1996
646.7’8—dc20 95-53003

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

To my most important teachers: my patients. You have shared your lives with me over the years and I’m eternally grateful for everything I’ve learned from you; for your dedication to health; for how hard you work to find happiness; for your willingness to learn lessons I know are tough; for your trust.
To my mother. I know how much you’ve accomplished, and I know how hard you’ve struggled. I wish I could have helped you when you needed it most, but I was too young. Thank you for inspiring me to believe I could help others. Thank you for inspiring in me the desire to learn the truth about love.
And to my daughters. You’re the best, and you deserve a world of love.
This is a book about truth and love. It would not have been possible without the work of Dr. Charles Foster. Every word here is the product of a fifty/fifty collaboration between us. His research, insights, and ideas fill this book. We are full partners in everything. Because of him, in every way this search for the truth has been a labor of love.
I’m profoundly grateful to all the individuals whose lives and stories went into the research for Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay. They were amazingly open and helpful, and what we’ve learned from them constitutes the bricks out of which this book is built.
There are many people I must mention if I’m to thank them properly. The debt I owe each of them makes me wish I could do more, in this small space, than list their names. These people are, one way or another, colleagues, teachers, heroes, friends who’ve given something specific to me, personally or professionally, through the years here at Chestnut Hill and elsewhere. They may not even realize the value of what they’ve done for me, but it played some role in making these pages possible. To all of them I say thank you: Louise Bates Ames, Shaye Areheart, Lisa Bankoff, Susan Bickelhaupt, Ruth Bork, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Alexia Dorszynski, Barry Dym, Dorothy Firman, Roger Fisher, Betty Friedan, Diana Huss Green, Jennifer Hack, Jay Haley, Jules Henry, Kathleen Huntington, Allan Kaprow, Alfred Kazin, Michael Kirshenbaum, Mary Jo Kochakian, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Eda LeShan, Richard Marek, Amy Mintzer, Salvador Minuchin, Nancy Moscatillo, Eli Newberger, Maury Povich, Cynthia Roe, Izzy Rudski, Ann Ruethling, Kim Schaffer, Gitta Sereny, Myron Sharaf, Judith Sills, Ivy Fischer Stone, Richard Stuart, Walter Watson, Paul Watzlawick, Rosa Wexler, Robert White, Elie Wiesel, Beth Winship, and Harold Zyskind.
Some people are sadly no longer alive to hear my gratitude for what they’ve given me. But I feel I must nonetheless express my thanks to Fred Avery, Gregory Bateson, Herbert Berghof, Martin Buber, Paul Goodman, Walter Green, Don Jackson, Pearl Karch, Virginia Satir, and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
I want to thank my daughters, Rachel and Hannah, who cared so much about this project and who expressed their love and intelligence by letting me feel the full weight of every constructive criticism they could think of.
What incredible good luck to have a mensch like Howard Morhaim as my agent. Without his gifts and his belief in me and in this project, all the people who need it would be denied the help this book offers. I am profoundly grateful to him. And a thanks to his assistant, Kate Hengerer.
My editor, Deborah Brody, has wowed me with her intelligence and enthusiasm. I thank her for caring about this book and for her marvelous ability to translate her caring into effective action that’s enabling this information to reach as many people as possible.
I’d also like to thank all the other terrific people at Penguin and Dutton who I know have helped and will help this book and me. I can’t mention everyone’s name but I would like to single out Marvin Brown, Judy Courtade, Arnold Dolin, Elaine Koster, and Peter Mayer. A thanks to Julianne Barbato for her excellent copy editing, and a thanks for the care she’s taken with my work to Jennifer Moore. Finally, I know how important Lisa Johnson’s inspired work on my behalf has been in the past and will be in the future, and I’m grateful for it. And a special thanks to Tracy Guest.
I’d like to thank all the readers of my previous book for their incredible support. It means so much to me. I’d like to particularly thank the countless numbers of people who called and wrote just to tell me how much that book helped them.
Last, but not least, I must thank those patients of mine who kept asking me to write this book. I can’t mention your names, but you know who you are.

You are not alone. There are 140 million Americans today in a relationship, and one-fifth of them—that’s 28 million people—just can’t decide whether to stay or leave.
You deserve the happiness you’re searching for. I’ve dedicated years to developing a simple but comprehensive series of questions and guidelines that will help you see clearly, once and for all, whether it’s best for you to stay in your relationship or leave it. The women and men you’ll meet here have struggled with the same issues you have. Their experiences will help you discover what’s real in your own relationship, regardless of how long you’ve been with your partner or how long you’ve been stuck in ambivalence.
This book contains only good news. If it’s best for you to stay, you’ll have the satisfying experience of facing all the issues and discovering that your relationship is truly too good to leave. You won’t be settling; you’ll know your heart is home.
And if you’ll be happiest leaving, you’ll get the reassurance that comes from finally understanding why your relationship has been too bad to stay in. When you end a relationship that deserves to end, you’re liberating two people to move on to better lives.
Either way, because you’ll see what’s best for you, you’ll be far happier than you’ve been. Everything in your life will be better. I’ve written this book to help you make this happen.
Part I
Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?
You’ve gone through a lot to get to this point.
You’ve hoped that love would be enough. And you’ve worked to resolve the problems in your relationship. And you’ve tried to accept things the way they are.
And you’ve agonized over the possibility of leaving.
But you just haven’t known what to do. Now you’re ready to face the choice that’s been weighing on your heart. That’s what this book is for—to help you discover which is best for you:
To stay in your relationship, recommitting to it free of doubt, free of holding back, free at last to pour your love and energy into the relationship and get back everything there is to get from it


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To leave your relationship, finally liberating yourself from it, free of confusion, free of pain, free at last to get on with a new and better life.
Up until now you haven’t found the kind of evidence that speaks to your heart and makes clear what’s best for you. You haven’t found a sign like one of the following:

Leaving. He wouldn’t make her a sandwich. Heather had been working in the garden in the hot sun all morning, and Bill had been doing God knows what inside the house. Through the open kitchen window she’d heard him grab a beer, and she asked if he’d throw together a sandwich for her. No, you do it, he said, as if she’d asked him to do something too hard, too inappropriate.
That’s when it hit her, clear as day, once and for all, that his selfishness was undeniable and bottomless, that for her the relationship was over, that there was nothing here for her, and that she’d be better off getting out. And she did. And she’s never regretted it for a moment.

Staying. What had happened to the sweet woman he’d married? Now, three years later, Steve felt that Lynn had turned into someone who did nothing but complain. Then one Friday coming home from work Steve heard a song on the radio—When a Man Loves a Woman. Something about it got through to him, something about his having a responsibility to make sure she knew he loved her. They’d gotten so polarized, he saw, that he’d overlooked the possibility that she was unloving because he was unloving.
Steve spent that night and all weekend trying to show Lynn he loved her. It wasn’t until Sunday that it got through to her. Then she just melted. Her old sweetness came back. It was suddenly clear to Steve how easily they could overcome the problems that had been making him think of leaving. Steve decided to put all thoughts of leaving out of his mind.
Good News
It’s terribly frustrating to be able to do nothing but wait passively for signs like these. Fortunately, new hope is now entirely realistic for you. That’s why I’ve written this book. You can find answers to the questions most important to you:
• Whether the two of you really do fit together or not
• Whether the things that bother you will get better or worse
• How you’ll feel if they do get better and if they don’t
• Whether you can improve the relationship on your own or with the best of therapists
• What you’ll find if you leave and whether it’ll be better or worse than what you have now
• How to balance the responsibility you have to yourself and to the people you care about
No matter how hard it’s been for you to decide, now you can find out the truth about your relationship one way or the other, the whole truth, your own truth, the ultimate-reality-at-the-heart-of everything truth. Now you can achieve the clarity that will enable you to feel confident making one of the most important choices of your life.
But finding clarity depends on whether you actually want to find clarity in the first place or whether the most comfortable place for you is staying up in the air the way you’ve been. Your relationship is either too good to leave or too bad to stay in. But it can’t be both. So there are definite answers for you here, but if you really don’t want to come to a decision, you’ll find that out as well.
But What About Love?
We’ll talk a lot about love here. The clarity you’ll reach will also help you see how real your love is, and how strong. Love, which made everything so definite at the beginning, now makes everything more complicated. Sometimes things are terrible but your love still seems strong, and then what do you do about love? Sometimes things aren’t so bad but there’s little love left to hold them together, and then what does love mean for you?
I just want to assure you that as you see what’s right for you to do, you’ll be able to put love into perspective among all the other things you care about.
My mission is to do two things.
First, it’s to share with you the experiences of people who’ve wrestled with the issues you’re wrestling with and come out on the other side and to report what they discovered. For example, think about something that bothers you about your partner, that strongly weighs on the side of your leaving. Wouldn’t you want to know how other people bothered by that felt once they left? You’ll find that out here. And if something else pointed to a basic strength in a relationship that made people happy they stayed, you’d want to know that, too. And you will. And if yet another issue you’ve been stewing over really turned out not to make too big a difference one way or the other, you’d want to know that as well so you could stop stewing over it. And you will.
Second, my mission is to help you rediscover the value of your own experience. I’m not going to pull a rabbit out of a hat that has nothing to do with what you’ve felt and seen about your partner and your relationship. Just the opposite. We’ll keep returning to the basics of your own experience. The problem isn’t that you don’t know what’s going on; it’s that you’ve had trouble sorting it all out.
The choice you discover will be one you feel good about after you make it, and better and better about as time goes by. It will be a choice that leaves you free of regret. Which is exactly what you were looking for in the first place!
If you’ve suspected that it’s not good for you to stay up in the air, you’re right. Staying ambivalent, in fact, can cause tremendous damage. Being stuck like this can end up killing you emotionally if you stay when you should be getting out. And it can end up killing your relationship if you keep thinking about leaving when it could be fixed if you only put energy into it. You can end up being deprived of joy and of freedom, of intimacy and of hope. And it’s not as if waiting around is going to show you what’s best for you. Ambivalence doesn’t produce real answers. It’s just a dangerous trap.
Doing the Limbo
Dee, a twenty-nine-year-old buyer, had lived with Keith for four years. There were good things about the relationship, like their strong sexual chemistry, but Dee was never really happy. They kept fighting about many things, like what Dee thought of as Keith’s irresponsibility, which she was afraid would only get worse in the future.
After they broke up last year, Dee was happier. But she was lonely. Now they’re dating each other again, partly because of her sexual needs, partly because she didn’t meet anyone better, and partly because Keith promised to grow up. And so their relationship chugs on, no better than it was before, filled with the same mixture of familiarity and misery it’s always had.
Dee’s not on the verge of making a commitment one way or the other. She’s on the verge of being stuck not knowing what to do with her relationship for a long time, possibly years.
Can you believe forty years? That’s how long another woman, Kate, spent neither being in her marriage nor leaving it but miserably camped on the outskirts of it, waiting for a sign to tell her what to do.
Kate’s Story
As you’ll see in a moment, Kate’s one of the most important women in my life; and the fact that she never broke through her ambivalence had an unhealthy impact on both of us. So it’s not only professionally but personally that I’ve experienced the terrible price we all pay for not knowing what to do with our relationships, all the pain and wasted time millions of people suffer from staying endlessly undecided.
Kate had married on the rebound after getting divorced following a brief first marriage. Her second husband, now dead, had been a businessman, volatile, quirky, sometimes unpleasant, but in some ways a decent guy. They were able to put up a good front, and their friends envied what from the outside seemed like one of the better marriages in their circle. But it was hard for Kate to remember when they’d ever had much in common. They usually couldn’t talk without fighting; when they weren’t fighting there was usually nothing to talk about.
It wasn’t the most terrible marriage in the world. There was just a lot of unhappiness in it flowing from distance and discord. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), Kate would’ve given it a 3. And yet she stayed in it, doing what she saw as her duty.
What do you think she should have done? Kate had two good alternatives. In spite of myths about women needing marriage, the evidence is now unmistakable that a woman like Kate could have been happy if she’d been on her own. And I believe she also could have had a chance at happiness if she’d stayed, working on the relationship more (perhaps going into couples therapy) instead of finding her energy sapped by thinking of leaving.

The Cost of Staying up in the Air. But Kate was terribly unhappy for forty years because she did neither. She waited for one milepost after another to pass—the kids starting school, her going back to work, the kids leaving home, her husband’s retiring—hoping that she’d get a sign that would tell her what to do.
Just think about what it must have been like to spend all those years thinking about leaving. It meant spending years stewing over all the things that were wrong with him and all the things that were wrong with her for staying with him. You pay a price for feasting on negativity like this. Suppose that it would have been best for Kate to leave. To live with all that negativity and not leave could only destroy your sense of yourself as a valuable, effective person. Or suppose that it would have been best for her to stay. Then living with all that negativity could only pollute and ultimately destroy what would otherwise be a viable marriage.
Kate paid another price for a lifetime of not deciding. The tension and misery she felt, directly traceable to living stuck in ambivalence, put a strain on her relationship with her children that took years to heal.
The woman I call Kate is my mother, with some details changed to protect her privacy (as I’ve done with all the people you’ll meet in this book), and her husband was my stepfather. In many ways, Kate’s a heroine, as a Holocaust survivor and a self-made businesswoman. But in this important way she didn’t know how to choose happiness. And in her ambivalence she’s like far too many of our parents, far too many people in middle age, and far too many people just starting out. I wrote this book to save others, to save you, from going through what my mother went through.
You may be wondering if there’s something wrong with you to feel so stuck. But the fact is that there’s an epidemic of ambivalence about many things these days. We live in an age that promotes self-awareness but fails to show us how to use our self-awareness to arrive at good decisions. We learn more and more things about ourselves without learning ways to sort them out or to sort out the feelings they generate in us.
This is particularly true when it comes to our relationships. As one actress said on TV, being interviewed about her marriage, You’re supposed to reevaluate your relationship every day, aren’t you? Only if you want to confuse and exhaust yourself. We’re told so many contradictory things: to be responsible to ourselves and to our partner, to be happy in ourselves and to be mature about our obligations, to fix our own lives above all else, and to fix our relationships no matter what.
Whatever love we feel for the other person feels so real, and yet we know we also have a responsibility to love ourselves. We see therapists on TV who claim they can bring any relationship back to vibrant life, but we know how difficult it is to change even the smallest thing in our own relationship.
No wonder so many of us have trouble figuring out what’s best for us to do. But you can find the clarity you’re looking for if you want to. And I believe you do want to, and that you have everything it takes to see what’s best for you.
What makes a book like this possible is the fact that an individual can be unique and yet still be similar enough to other people to learn from them. Without our similarities, medicine and psychology would be impossible. It’s because we are similar that a diagnostic test or a wonder drug can help millions.
But it’s because we’re unique that medicine and psychology remain an art as well as a science. I know as a therapist that I can’t meet my responsibility to you if I forget for a moment that you are an individual. Just because you’re similar to other people in some respects doesn’t mean there aren’t profound differences as well. And I always have to take those differences into account.
But I also can’t meet my responsibility to you if I fail to probe for the experiences that link people. That’s the power that research and clinical practice give, not just mine but that of countless others, particularly Dr. Charles Foster, whose shoulders this book stands on.
Answers at Last
This book is based on an attempt to answer questions people have asked for a long time:
• Which iffy relationships will most likely be okay and which ones are virtually unfixable?
• What makes people happy they left a relationship? What makes them happy they recommitted to it?
Our research involved talking to people in the same situation you’re in. They were asked about their ambivalent feelings and their partners’ positives and negatives. They were followed over time, during which many tried to solve their problems (and many were successful) and many ended their relationships.
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What is relationship ambivalence? ›

What is an ambivalent relationship? It means a partner cannot decide if they want to be in a relationship with someone or not. They can feel connected emotionally to this person, but they sometimes think they can have a better partner. They also feel frustration and anxiety because they cannot leave this relationship.

How do I leave a bad book in a relationship? ›

The 5 Books That Helped Me Leave An Emotional Abusive...
  1. 'I Have Something To Tell You' by Natalie Appleton. ...
  2. 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go?: A Guide To Knowing If Your Relationship Can — And Should — Be Saved' by Lundy Bancroft & JAC Patrissi. ...
  3. 'How To Be A Person In The World' by Heather Havrilesky.
18 Feb 2019

When should you quit a relationship? ›

Here, experts explain some of the signs that indicate it may be time to let go:
  1. Your needs aren't being met.
  2. You're seeking those needs from others.
  3. You're scared to ask for more from your partner.
  4. Your friends and family don't support your relationship.
  5. You feel obligated to stay with your partner.
27 Aug 2018

How do I stay in a relationship? ›

How to Make Love Last Forever
  1. Practice forgiveness. Resentment, anger and blame are normal reactions when your loved one does something hurtful. ...
  2. Be realistic. Every long-term relationship will have its share of disappointments. ...
  3. Develop rituals. ...
  4. Listen actively. ...
  5. Be honest. ...
  6. Fight fair. ...
  7. Get help if you're stuck.

How do you make an emotionally unavailable man fall in love with you? ›

Here's how to make an emotionally unavailable man fall in love and chase you in 12 systematic steps.
  1. Patience is a virtue.
  2. Get a life that is independent of him.
  3. Make him know that you can be trusted.
  4. Let him define the pace of the relationship.
  5. Stay away from labeling the relationship.
  6. No conversations about the future.
29 Apr 2022

What are the four types of intimacy? ›

Intimacy refers to a level of closeness where you feel validated and safe. In relationships, four types of intimacy are key: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual.

How do I review my relationship? ›

10 Questions to Assess the State of Your Relationship
  1. Do you argue? ...
  2. How do you make decisions? ...
  3. Do you know what your partner is most sensitive to? ...
  4. Do you talk about the future? ...
  5. Are you compatible as a couple regarding individual vs. ...
  6. Are you compatible about needs for affection and sex? ...
  7. Are you compatible about work?
13 Aug 2017

How do you let go of someone you love? ›

How to let go of someone
  1. Recognize when it's time. Learning when it's time to let go is often the most difficult part of this process. ...
  2. Identify limiting beliefs. ...
  3. Change your story. ...
  4. Stop the blame game. ...
  5. Embrace the “F” word. ...
  6. Master your emotions. ...
  7. Practice empathy. ...
  8. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.

How do you leave someone you love? ›

Here are 11 tips from relationship therapists for healthily breaking up with someone you love.
  1. Give it your all before leaving. ...
  2. Know that it will hurt. ...
  3. Know your "why" and stand your ground. ...
  4. Don't try to be friends right away. ...
  5. Set boundaries with your ex. ...
  6. Set boundaries with your friend group. ...
  7. Avoid social media stalking.
7 Jan 2022

How do I break up with someone I love? ›

What to Say and How to Say It
  1. Tell your BF or GF that you want to talk about something important.
  2. Start by mentioning something you like or value about the other person. ...
  3. Say what's not working (your reason for the break-up). ...
  4. Say you want to break up. ...
  5. Say you're sorry if this hurts. ...
  6. Say something kind or positive.

What makes a man happy in a relationship? ›

Clear communication, openness to new experiences, and respect for your partner are key if you want to build a lasting, loving relationship. 1. Make your partner a priority: Take time often to let your boyfriend or hubby know how special he is to you.

Can someone love someone forever? ›

The fact is that you can love someone forever; yet, it won't be in the manner that you likely thought it would be. I'm not sure whether it's our culture that ruins love for so many individuals or whether we simply allow the intense emotions we experience to define love in its entirety.

How can you make him love you again? ›

Here's exactly what to do to fall in love again:
  1. Do something to make your partner's life better. ...
  2. Spend time away from each other. ...
  3. Ask yourself what they need. ...
  4. Spend more present time with them. ...
  5. Have silly time together. ...
  6. Stop and notice your S.O. ...
  7. Take turns planning surprise date nights.
15 Jul 2019

How do you make a guy miss you badly? ›

8 Ways to Make Him Miss You
  1. Let him take initiative. ...
  2. Don't let him think he has you too soon. ...
  3. Don't say 'yes' to him every time. ...
  4. Make him feel like he can't live without you. ...
  5. Make the time you spend together amazing so he wants you around more. ...
  6. Make him miss you by not contacting him.
17 Jan 2021

How do you make a man crave you emotionally? ›

Here are 5 ways to make a guy fall deeply in love with you and get emotionally attached without playing games.
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  2. Create emotional safety for him. ...
  3. Keep things light and playful. ...
  4. Be vulnerable. ...
  5. Give him space to chase you.
16 Mar 2021

Do emotionally unavailable woman miss you? ›

Can emotionally unavailable people miss you? Someone may not have the emotional availability to carry on a committed relationship, but they can absolutely still care about you. And if you care about someone, you can miss them.

What is the most intimate act? ›

To feel unity with your partner, you can make sex a sacred act of love. Moreover, there are other loving acts on a physical level. e.g. kissing, cuddling, or holding hands. Holding hands especially can become the most intimate act of love.

What does lack of intimacy do to a woman? ›

Self-Esteem Issues

Where physical intimacy is lacking, this can cause self-esteem problems. If your partner shows no interest in you physically, you might feel like they're not attracted to you anymore, and this can cause you to question yourself.

What is intimacy to a man? ›

Broadly speaking, intimacy means deeply knowing someone, while also feeling deeply known yourself. It is something humans crave, and though at times, it may seem more difficult for men to express it, that doesn't mean they don't need or want it.

What is an example of ambivalence? ›

having two opposing feelings at the same time, or being uncertain about how you feel: I felt very ambivalent about leaving home. He has fairly ambivalent feelings toward his father.

How do I stop ambivalence in a relationship? ›

What if your partner is showing relationship ambivalence?
  1. Here are some tips when your partner is being ambivalent:
  2. Listen to your partner. Allow them to express their fears and confusion. ...
  3. Give it some time. ...
  4. Revisit your needs. ...
  5. Draw a line. ...
  6. Accept that you can't control your partner's feelings.
29 Jul 2015

Is it normal to feel ambivalent about partner? ›

First, please know that it is totally normal and natural to have second thoughts or ambivalence in your relationship! Yes, really. Contrary to what Disney movies, Rom-Coms, and most pop songs teach us, love and being with the “right” partner doesn't always look like fireworks or being certain about the other.

What is ambivalent behavior? ›

Ambivalence refers to a psychological conflict between opposing evaluations, often experienced as being torn between alternatives. This dynamic aspect of ambivalence is hard to capture with outcome-focused measures, such as response times or self-report.

What is it called when someone ignores your feelings? ›

Emotional invalidation is the act of dismissing or rejecting someone's thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. It says to someone: “Your feelings don't matter. Your feelings are wrong.” Emotional invalidation can make you feel unimportant or irrational.

Is ambivalent positive or negative? ›

Ambivalence is often conceptualized as a negative predictor of attitude strength. That is, as an attitude becomes more ambivalent, its strength decreases. Strong attitudes are those that are stable over time, resistant to change, and predict behavior and information processing.

Can you feel 2 emotions at the same time? ›

It's common to think that you can only feel one way at a time, but we can actually feel two or more things that conflict or don't match up at the same time. No single feeling is more valid than another – they can all coexist. To cope with conflicting feelings, you can set personal boundaries for yourself.

Will he chase me if I walk away? ›

Men like the chase

You might not know that men like the chase, which is why walking away is powerful. If you take the opportunity to walk away from an individual that isn't putting in the same effort that you are into the relationship, this might cause him to want to chase you and make it up to you.

What is an ambivalent woman? ›

In an ambivalent relationship, neither the positive nor the negative predominates; your feelings about the person are decidedly mixed. Sometimes this person is encouraging, and sometimes they're critical. Sometimes they're fun, and sometimes they're a drag. Sometimes they're there for you, and sometimes they're not.

What is a disharmonious relationship? ›

disharmonious - lacking in harmony. inharmonic, discordant, dissonant. inharmonious, unharmonious - not in harmony.

When a man is ambivalent? ›

For the ambivalent man, the inability to commit in an emotionally valid way may, paradoxically, reflect an emotionally vulnerable self that he is afraid to recognize out of fear that it will overwhelm him or make him less of a man.

How do you deal with an ambivalent partner? ›

  1. Be aware if anxiety is taking you away from yourself, and return to a healthy sense of who you are.
  2. Be willing to take the long view. ...
  3. Dont play the role of therapist with your partner.
  4. Dont pressure your partner or try to solve their dilemma for them.
  5. Avoid numbing or self-defeating behaviors.
21 Jan 2019

Why do I feel dread about my relationship? ›

There are many reasons why someone might feel anxious about their relationships. They might fear being abandoned or rejected or worry that their feelings are not reciprocated. Some may worry that their partner will be unfaithful or that the relationship will not last.

What does avoidant attachment look like in adults? ›

Adults with an avoidant-dismissive insecure attachment style are the opposite of those who are ambivalent or anxious-preoccupied. Instead of craving intimacy, they're so wary of closeness they try to avoid emotional connection with others. They'd rather not rely on others, or have others rely on them.

How do you love someone with ambivalent attachment? ›

Here are 5 ways you can help your ambivalently attached partner feel secure in your relationship:
  1. Reassure and connect with them. ...
  2. Don't leave them waiting for a reply. ...
  3. Be consistent with them. ...
  4. Don't suggest their needs aren't "right" ...
  5. Understand it's not up to you to "fix" them.
26 Aug 2020

What makes someone anxious attachment? ›

Most often, anxious attachment is due to misattuned and inconsistent parenting. Low self-esteem, strong fear of rejection or abandonment, and clinginess in relationships are common signs of this attachment style.


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