Should I stay or should I go?

My boyfriend and I have been together for over four years. We have a 2 year old together and he is an absolutely wonderful father to him. Only problem is hat I feel like I never truly feel in love with him. He fell hard and fast for me, but I was in a troubled marriage when we first met and I was simply looking for a short term rebound relationship. Only problem is it didn't turn out that way. Every time I have tried to leave him, he cries for me to stay and tells me how much he loves me and the boy and how he couldn't live without us. And I stay. We enjoy doing some things together but not a whole lot of things. On top of not having a lot of things that we enjoy doing together, we never have time to actually do them. Between raising our son, me going to school, him working 50-60 hour weeks and working on building us a house in his free time late at night sometimes, we virtually spend no time together as a couple. To complicate matters further, I went out of town on a trip with friends and I met another guy while we were on our trip and I fell for him. We talked some and spent part of the day together and before it was all said and done, we kissed. I know I cannot pursue him and stay with my boyfriend but I don't know whether I should listen to my heart or my head. Do I stay where I am at in a relationship where I am unhappy but can provide a stable life to my child and not have to make him choose where he wants to be or do I follow my heart?


Most Helpful Guy

  • It sounds like you are caught between a selfish "what is most exciting to me right now in the short-term, to hell with the consequences or how it affects anybody else" or the unselfish "maybe things aren't ideal but I am willing to work it out because I have made choices and have to take responsibility for those choices because it is no longer just about me."

    You don't fall in or out of love, you make love. You create it and recreate it. You nurture it and make it grow. Or you neglect it and let it die. When real life hits us and we have to work hard and things are stressful, and we don't have as much time for the fun, carefree things is when we find out if we are capable of unselfish love. Being a good lover, not in sexual sense but in a relationship sense, requires a higher state of maturity. It is much more than simply being turned on by, thinking about, having fun with, having a spark with, etc. Those things can be had with any number of people, and they wax and wane in intensity. They do not define love. They define sexual and personal attraction and infatuation. True love is a character trait that we have to cultivate. It is just as much "head" as it is "heart". And when in doubt go with your head.

    Love is about commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. You have made decisions that have tangible consequences for other people besides just you. As an adult it is your responsibility to consider the probable effects of your choices on other people--in this case your boyfriend and your child. You can go with your "heart" if you want to, but you will be doing a disservice to your son and to your boyfriend. And if you think about it, real life will come around in your new relationship also. Eventually you will deal with stressful times when you don't have as much time for the fun stuff and you will be wondering if you love the guy [NOTE: you don't love the other guy yet. You had a spark and a kiss, but you don't love him yet.]

    Real love and real character get us through the times when things aren't ideal. So right now it is not about head versus heart, it is about selfish and immature versus mature and unselfish.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but I feel strongly that you are on the precipice of a potentially very bad decision that will negatively impact other people and in the end won't be what you really want anyway. So choose to be a good lover and make love in your relationship and make that love sustain you through the seemingly "loveless" times that all couples pass through.

    • Love doesn't run out you work at it. That's good, I agree. Wish parents would do this....

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What Guys Said 9

  • You should stay.

    You brought a child into this world, and the morally correct thing is to put your child's needs first, second, third, fourth and fifth. It doesn't matter what you expected, or what you wanted. What matters is taking responsibility for your choices. You are morally obligated to keep your son as close to his father as possible. Marriage is ideal. This guy is a prince, you should hold on with both hands: he works 50-60 hours a week, *and he's building a house for you!* Millions of women all over the world would give up an eye for a man like him.

    Your #1 priority is creating a stable, loving home for at least the next 17 years so your son has a strong foundation for his life.

    I don't mean to beat up on you, because you're obviously twisted up about all this. But you're thinking about it all wrong.

    Here's a solution:

    Following your heart got you into this mess, and following your heart will make this mess a lot worse. Now, you're not *feeling* love for this guy, so you're thinking about bailing out.

    Many people -- particularly women -- have a false belief that feelings or emotions must come *first*, and that behavior must follow their feelings. And they get stuck in their heads, wondering about the meaning of *this* feeling and the origin of *that* emotion, and rehashing each detail into oblivion.

    But this mentality doesn't accomplish anything, and is *completely* backwards about cause-and-effect. In truth, behavior usually comes *first*, and the feelings follow.

    Do you always *feel* like going to college? No; it can be a real drag. There are days you *feel* like quitting or slacking off. But you know that if you give in to your feelings, you'll flunk out of class. And you know that there's a reward for all your hard work: you earn a degree and get a better job. So you override your feelings, and you go to class. And once you're at class, those bad feelings usually fade.

    How to apply this principle to your current problem?

    Act like you love him. Be kind and affectionate, and express appreciation for all his hard work. Focus less on your feelings, and focus more on expressing admiration and affection towards him. Fake it till you make it, and soon enough you will care for him more and more. You'll get a different kind of reward. When we give to others who respect us, we earn it back in bigger doses.

    No one is a perfect match for everyone, so enjoy the common activities that you do share. But this guy wants you in his life, and is working his ass off to prove it. Men usually show their love with deeds -- *this guy is building a house for you!* His dedication blows me away.

    You have a good man in your life. Cherish him.

    Good luck!

    • Great answer. I totally agree.

    • Focusing on the good and on his good traits is what you're saying? I agree, his dedication blows me away, I've never personally loved a woman but I think I would do that for the mother of my children.

  • don't listen to the rest of the guys! they are merely projecting, based on their own situations.

    It may happen that at some point, after leaving him, you may feel differently after some years, and a shlew of failed relationships. He may still be available after that time, and you could give it another go. but you're still young, and as you're not in love, I think you should leave this relationship, and be completely honest with your feelings. Don't give him any hope that you'll return. It has to sound terminal, so he can move on faster. it will be difficult, but imagine going through this 10 years or 20 years from now. You won't be able to meet anyone, but he probably will. I've seen this happen. Now of course, I could be wrong. You could still be a hotty at fifty, and able to make some more babies. but perhaps not. So why take a chance. get out while you can. And maybe, if you feel differently after a few years, you can go back to the same ole thing. But don't let him think that. Don't act selfishly. It is less selfish to leave him, then to stay, and deprive everyone of true love.

  • You seem like an intelligent and considerate person. Your husband seems like a fantastic guy whom most women would love being married to and remain in marital bliss. He loves you and the son a lot. It is almost picture perfect.

    There is only one thing wrong. You have some deep psychological issues. (This is not just my opinion. This is what is implicit in your question. You will figure it ourt if you read it objectively.)There is some deep unhappiness within you which prevents you from enjoying what you have. Have you ever thought of why your earlier marriage was troubled? Was it entirely his fault? Had you chosen your man properly? Or, did you decide with your heart? For a sane person, there is no conflict between the head and the heart.

    Please get counselling. Even if you leave him and go with someone else, you will still be unhappy. The problem is within you and not in him. I would also suggest this website:


    If you decide to leave, leave in a civilized manner. Do not get into a rebound relationship. Think carefully before getting involved with your next man. YOU CAN NOT KEEP DOING THE SAME THING AGAIN AND AGAIN AND EXPECT DIFFERENT RESULTS.

    • He is not my HUSBAND!

  • You should stay. Don't be a number in the increasing statistics of divorce. Its a hard choice really. And I can only give my opinion. Its not advice as I have not been in this situation.

    I think you should stay and work it out.

    I just ask myself, how many times were our grand parents not happy? How many times were our grand parents probably fed up and wanted to split up. But they didnt, and to me my grand parents are a wonderful inspiration to make a marriage work.

    You can't only think of your heart now as you have a child. When you bring a child into this world you should be there for him/her.

    Just think of the effect to your child if you were to leave your husband.

    Sounds like your husband is working hard for your family. I think that is one of the most important things in the world. He working hard at his job, and on the house to build you a home. Its better then being with a guy who works 5 hours a week, drinks beer all day and beats you.

    That is life as you get older, when you have a child you devote your time to him / her.

    I DO have a question -- Do you fight? Do you fight with your husband? You only mentioned you have the feeling like you don't love him anymore. If you are providing a safe loving home, you should stay.

    • I could not agree more. Growing up in a broken home sux so bad, remain faithful and sacrafice your lives for the child, I probably have no right to say this because I have never been in this situation or understand it but for the sake of the child and the love the father has for his child, let it grow up "normally" and not in the american "normal" way where 50% of every couple divorces.

  • its not fair to keep your husband from the love he deserves. end it. Its better for the child and your husband, and you too.

    • He's my boyfriend ...not my husband but why do you feel this way...everyone else says to stay with him. Not that I disagree with you I just am curious as to more on your view point. I do believe he loves me but I don't think I love him or can ever love him. I feel like he feel in love with my body orginally (which may sound conceited) but I was a dancer at the bar he was bouncing at. He knew I was married (not happily but none the less married) and he continued to pursue me. Granted I did....

    • If you continue to stay with him, you deprive him, and yourself of finding real love, and your child is growing up in a loveless union. Not to say that you don't care deeply for the man, but you'll never be truly happy and he will never feel deeply satisfied, because surely, some part of him is aware of your sentiment. So I say, leave him, find another, and let him find a woman who really loves him . And since, as you've clearly stated, he's not your husband, you are not bound by any agreeme

  • You are f***ed on this one. you made this the way it is and the child is in the middle. Be glad you will get child support when you finally leave. Sorry; now you can rebound again and there is nothing wrong with that because like you may have heard :" Money doesn't matter, all you need is love." __:)

  • I would say stay but at the end you will make that call. but before you do that remember you'r son and how he will grow up with out you or his father in his life and how that will effect him in the long run.

    • Furthermore, it would be pure selfishness on your part if you did continue with him, and started things with other blokes.

    • A child needs a stable environment, not one where the mother is always screwing around with other guys, believe it or not IT REALLY has a big big influence on a child when he/she is growing up.

  • You sound like you will never be happy and find it convenient to blame it on your partners. It also sounds like you used this guy to have a kid and want to move on. You have already left him by cheating on him and kissing another guy. He is busting his ass building a house for the future for the 2 of you and all you can do is find fault with the guy. If it was me I would not wait around for you to make a decision I would have booted your butt out a long time ago. I have had experiences with women like you who are always looking for something better while in a relationship. I feel sorry for your next victim.


  • This may sounds mean or cruel

    But all I can say is hahahaha

    That's what happens when you listen to your heart and not your head


    it sounds like it's easy for you to in love with any guy

    perhaps even a bum.

    Try thinking with your head more than the heart

    because the heart can be mislead and look at the trouble you get into

    all I can say is hahahahhaha


What Girls Said 4

  • This is something that we cannot answer for you. We can only give you insight. Now, staying in the relationship with your boyfriend has positives and negatives. Do you think that if you stayed resentments would build that could cause arguments or even grudges? Kids can sense when things are awry. Does it effect you in any way that you are still in this relationship? On the other hand you both chose to bring a life into this world. That life comes before either of you. His safety, stability, health and happiness is in your hands. Personally, if I was living with someone that didn't love me I would want to know. Regardless of the situation I would want to know and I would end the relationship. The longer you wait the harder it will be on all parties. It sounds as though you aren't in love with him but do have love for him. He's a grown man, it's never easy to break up but he will get over it with time. In the end it's better to let him go in my opinion. As long as you both can still be as active as possible in your son's life than it's fine.

  • Your relationship with your boyfriend and your child sounds like its very warming, but if you don't feel like you love him, then why are you still in this? Who says that because you and your boyfriend separate, your child would lose his stability in life? If you and your boyfriend were able to preserve a friendship and a different kind of relationship (just not dating) then your son can be just as happy. He might be confused at first, but if you both work hard, he will be okay. I know you obviously want to make your family [in a sense] happy, but how can you fully and truly do so, if you yourself are unable to be happy. If your boyfriend truly cares, he will let you go. It would hurt him, but he will be able to be strong and get over it. Let yourself live the way you truly want to, and give him and you the chance to find true love. Good luck :]

  • If you're unhappy and you feel like you can make it on your own, leave him. If you see a damaged future where you have to make your child see a horrible break-up, leave him.

    You can adapt to your lifestyle, so make sure it's what you want to do before you do leave.

  • you should follow your heart and take ur son with you. because if you listen to ur head it never reallly knows what you want. no one wants to be unhappy. still be friends with ur baby's father but just keep it at that.