Ask The Therapist: “ I have been in a 3-year long relationship but.. he has trust issues, is dominating and extremely possessive”

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Hey! I have been in a 3-year long relationship but this has been rough. He has trust issues, is dominating and extremely possessive. He can be very needy at times which gets overwhelming because of my studies and all of this leads us fighting to the point that I’ve broken up with him twice but he manages to tell me that he’ll change for the better. I see him trying but there’s no significant change for long. He’s so dependent on me and sometimes I think that I am too now. We again had a fight and haven’t talked for about 2 weeks now. Maybe we’re not meant to be. I don’t trust or love him the way I used to do. I’m thinking of ending this for good and really don’t want this to be off and on. But it gets hard for me too because I have to see him every day, I shared dreams of us having a life together. Seeing all of that go away and thinking if I’ll ever find someone else makes me anxious. What should I do?

Shahrukh’s Response:

Dear Anon,

I hear you completely. Ending relationships is far from easy, especially if it’s someone who is part of your daily life and routine. What I’m hearing is that while there is still some level of care and dependency, you’re no longer feeling grounded in the relationship. There’s no right or wrong in this scenario, Anon, though what I would say is that it might help to reflect on what it is that’s keeping you in the relationship, and whether that’s enough for you.

Prepare Yourself


Often times when you’ve decided to exit a relationship, you’re met with feelings of doubt. This can stem from dependency on your partner, the inability to picture life without them, and the prospect of change and having to navigate through what’s to follow. At the end, Anon, it comes down to two things: the fear of the unknown and learning to cope with the change. I know it’s scary, but there are things you can do, and things you can remind yourself of as you go through this process:


What you’re looking for in a partner: one thing that I often ask clients is what they are looking for in their partners. What do they need in a relationship that will help them grow and move forward – this helps when trying to come to a decision about whether or not you want to continue on in a relationship.
Reflect on the reasons for your breakup: sometimes it helps to understand the reasons for stepping away, not for any other purpose but just to be clear about what’s best for you. Relationships serve a different purpose for each person – it helps to know what you’re looking for in a partner, and whether they fit the role, or if they’re capable of fitting that role.
Do your best: it’s natural to feel that you need to give it your all before ending any relationship. While that’s fair, it’s also important to know what your limit is. To what point are you willing to put in the effort before you decide to end it? Remember, there’s only so much you can do, and sometimes a relationship at a particular time isn’t meant to be, and the best call might be to go your separate ways.
Be prepared for some hurt: even the unhealthiest and most toxic relationships can be difficult to end – the reason for this is because regardless of the negative impact, humans are creatures of habit and attachment, and when severing ties with others, both things are compromised, and this can take its toll emotionally. You may experience sadness, anger, yearning, doubt, and you may even feel the desire to go back on your decision. Just remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to end the things, and stand your ground.
Reach out for support: if you feel like you’re struggling after the end of a relationship, it’s best to reach out to your close friends and family for support. Speak to those who are able to hold space for you, and support you during this difficult time.

Get professional help if necessary: what most people don’t understand is that a breakup is also a form of grief – and you might need a little more help in terms of processing the emotions that you are experiencing. A therapist would be able to provide that safe space, and help you navigate through your feelings authentically and genuinely, while maintaining a space free of judgement.




As I said before, Anon, stepping away from someone you care about is challenging, and it’s okay to go through the motions of grief – at the end of the day there is no right and wrong here, all that matters is realizing what’s best for you. Change in any form can be scary, so just remind yourself that even though it’s difficult right now, it can and will get better. Feelings can be intense and powerful in the moment, but they do tend to fade over time, and it won’t be as painful as more time passes. I hope that everything works out for you – best of luck and stay in your power!

The above article is written by Shahrukh Shahbaz Malik who is trained in humanistic integrative counselling at CPDD in the UK and currently has her own private practice in Karachi. The views expressed in this article are those of one expert. They do not necessarily represent the views of Mashion, nor do they represent the complete picture of the topic at hand. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment or therapy.

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