I want to break up with my boyfriend because he is about to lose his job

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A little over a year ago, my boyfriend (M36) moved in with me (F28). In total, we’ve been together for almost 1.5 years. Things were going well until about three months ago when he lost his job due to his place of work experiencing financial difficulties. Consequently, for the past three months, I’ve been solely supporting us. We live in an expensive city and between the rent, food, and other bills, I’ve barely managed to set aside anything or make any headway with my payments. It’s been an incredibly stressful time.

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Since losing his job, my boyfriend has spiralled into a deep depression. He struggles to find work and spends most days lost in his thoughts. Also, he hasn’t made much effort to contribute to household chores. Because of this entire shitstorm, I’ve come to the difficult decision that I need to end our relationship. After discussing it with my friends and family, they too believe it’s the most sensible choice. Some of my friends tried to remind me of all the good times, but this just isn’t enough anymore.

I still love him, but the reality of our financial situation has made it impossible for us to continue together. I’m very upset by this outcome, but I believe it’s necessary for both our well-being. By parting ways, I hope to regain some financial stability, while my boyfriend may find opportunities by returning to his parents’ home.

I tried my best to be supportive during this time. I talk to him all the time and give him words of encouragement. I suggested that he speak with a doctor, but he declined that. I offered to go into my savings and pay for a therapist but he’s also declined that. Just having to work and then come home and do all the chores is completely untenable for me now.

I am well aware this situation isn’t ideal for either of us, but there are no other options.

Is there any gentle way I can possibly let him know that we’re done?

Louis’s answer: First up, honesty is key, but so is kindness. When you chat with him, it’s going to be about finding that sweet spot where you’re being clear about your feelings without making it feel like it’s all because he’s hit a rough patch. Maybe start with how much you care about him and your shared memories. This isn’t about forgetting the good times; it’s about recognizing that the current situation isn’t sustainable for either of you.

You’ve been a rock for him, trying to lift him up, suggesting help, and keeping the ship afloat. It’s important he knows this isn’t about blame or not being there for each other. It’s about acknowledging that both of you are in a tough spot and might need different things right now.

This conversation is probably going to be one of the hardest you’ll have, so choosing the right moment and setting is crucial. A calm, private space where you both feel safe to express yourselves is ideal. It’s not just about breaking the news; it’s about giving both of you the space to share and listen.

As you’re explaining your feelings, keep it focused on how the situation is affecting your well-being and your perspective on the future. It’s okay to be vulnerable and share your worries about finances, your need for support, and your longing for a partnership where both can thrive, even if it means taking some time apart.

And hey, it’s alright to offer help in terms of figuring out the next steps, whether that’s finding resources for him or just being there as a friend if that’s something you’re comfortable with. Setting boundaries will be crucial here to protect your emotional health while navigating this change.

Most importantly, remember this isn’t a one-way street. Listening to how he feels and what he’s thinking is just as important. This is tough for both of you, and acknowledging his feelings will show that you still care, even though the relationship is changing.

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself through this. Maybe talk to a friend or a therapist about how you’re feeling. Ending a relationship, especially under circumstances like these, is emotionally taxing, and having support can make a world of difference.

Navigating through this is going to require a lot of courage, compassion, and honesty from both sides. Remember, it’s about moving forward in a way that’s healthiest for both of you, even if it means taking different paths.

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