“He doesn’t want a relationship but won’t let me go”

• Why do some men refuse to let go of a woman he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with, and what should be done in this situation?

Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S. LMFT:

This often comes up in abusive relationships were maybe there is some controlling and cheating occurring. This could be attributed to personality disorders and intervention must be taken. There is no more emotional, and sometimes physical, safety when someone “doesn’t want to be in a relationship” anymore. If the concern is over finances, then speaking with a financial advisor or mediator to help make a plan is needed in order for both partners to be able to live their life freely.

Peggy Yoder, M.A., LMFT Associate:

He should assess why he’s refusing to let go – is it for her benefit or his? There may be a reason that he’s choosing to stay for her benefit that is noble and valid. On the other hand, he could be holding on to avoid feeling lonely until he meets someone more desirable. Continue to give the relationship consideration if it’s for her sake. End the relationship if it’s for his sake.

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