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Staying Is Not Your Only Option — Here's How to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship

You Asked: Am I Staying for the Kids?

Dear Sugar,

I have been with my boyfriend for four years. He had a son who is four, and we have a son who is almost two. This past summer, I left him because I wasn't happy with our relationship. We took about three months apart, still trying to hang out because of the kids, but we saw other people during this time. I soon realized that I wanted my family back, my kids, and for the most part I missed him. I'm only 22 and am scared that I'm only here for the sake of the kids. They are everything to me and although I love my boyfriend, I cant help but wonder if my boys weren't part of the picture if I would have gone back this past time. The separation tore both of them apart. I'm so lost and I'm not sure if my heart is scared of being hurt again. Things between my boyfriend and me are great right now, and usually that ends up with something going wrong. Am I so scared of the bad that could happen that I'm mentally preparing for it? Or is it really my heart telling me that this isn't what I want for the rest of my life? The worry of if I'm missing something or if there isn't more out there is eating me up inside. I am so lost. — Confused Connie

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Confused Connie,

You say that after your separation from your boyfriend, it was him that you ultimately missed, so what is making you second guess yourself now? Was there something that happened or are you simply feeling a void in your relationship? We could all live our lives wondering if there is something better out there for us, but that isn't any way to live.

I am not surprised that your kids were torn up by the separation, but you need to remember that the only way they will be happy is if their parents are happy. You won't be able to be a good mother to them if you aren't content in your own life. Are you and your boyfriend keeping the lines of communication open? Have you talked to him about what you need in order to make you happy in this relationship? Have you considered couples counseling?

At the end of the day, Connie, you aren't nailed down to this relationship, so if you are still feeling that this relationship isn't right for you, you have other options. While you want to tough it out for the sake of your kids, everyone will be better off in the long run if you do what will make you happy. Good luck.

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