Agoraphobic boyfriend

Agoraphobic boyfriend

Dear Mookychick,

I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for about 2 and a half years, and although I love him very much, there are aspects of our relationship that are making me feel like I no longer want to be with him, most notably his agoraphobia.

He has had agoraphobia since a teenager (he is now 32, I am 26) and he has managed to control most aspects of it up to a point – he is not housebound and has a good job and his own flat. However, his agoraphobic tendencies haven’t gone away completely and he still hates going on a plane and on holiday. This means that I miss out on some things that I would like to have in a normal relationship, such as going out more and socialising (he prefers to stay at home and doesn’t like clubbing) and going on holiday. I have been patient up until now, but I now feel that I need to be a bit more selfish and feel I am stopping him meeting the ‘one’, which I consider to be unfair on both of us. I feel terribly harsh saying all this, but at the end of the day, life is too short and I feel like I need to go out and meet someone who is better suited and more outgoing. The thing is, I can’t seem to break up with him that easily as I have a lot of happy memories and find him a very caring, supportive and kind person who I would miss a great deal. I also know, however that you shouldn’t stay with someone for the sake of it, and that you have to be cruel to be kind in this life.

I think I know what I should do, as I have been unhappy with these aspects of our relationship for a while, but it’s finding the courage to do it. Is it the right move? Will I regret it? And, although he has made some effort to understand what I feel, he hasn’t taken enough action (in my opinion) to change enough. I know you shouldn’t try and change anyone, but I don’t know whether making a break for it now will be a cop-out and if I should stay with him and try to strengthen what we do have in our relationship…

Please help!

Love, Anonymous Me xxx

The Mookychick answer to your problem

Amanda says…

You sound like you are both very fond of each other, despite your need to get out more and the general dissatisfaction with the relationship.

I think there’s something you can do to resolve things in your mind whether to stay or go. First, accept your boyfriend has an illness – agoraphobia – and will change at his own pace, if at all – He’s not going to change for you – he can’t. Secondly, not all couples share a love of clubbing and late nights and it’s perfectly normal for one half of a couple to go out on the razz with friends and leave the other partner at home with a movie. So do this. Likewise, you’re entitled to go on holidays without him.

If you spend more time apart, you’ll either see that things are OK with him and appreciate him as he is or you’ll realise just how different you’ve become and take steps to break up.