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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I recover from a recent bad break up?

    These break ups are weekly sometimes fortnightly.

    They stem from a job I did in the past that caused my partner to be extremely jealous.

    As a result, he doesn't trust me and as a result, I have similar issues.

    I have been smoking half a pack a day because of it. I just want to be happy again and not have to resort to toxic bad behaviours.

    We fight every second day and I sometimes say things I don't mean in a fight and as a result he gets very angry and breaks up with me sending me nasty texts about my life, appearance, lifestyle choices and family and telling me that he hates me and wants me out of his life for good.

    As a result, I feel guilty, ashamed and with low self esteem. I also feel very anxious.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    It seems your boyfriend breaks up with you as a way to get back at you and take out his anger.

    My immediate reaction is that he is treating you poorly and you might think about what this relationship and his behaviour is doing to you. There is no excuse for the things he is saying and doing.

    Getting out, or at least taking a break, and discussing things with a counsellor are your best ways forward at this point.

  • 2


    Ralph Graham


    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    Having a chat with a professional would allow you to go into it further. Giving a more fulsome answer here is going to be based only on what you have said so far.

    If you decide not to see someone then you might like to consider the following.

    While you may know these things a reminder doesn't hurt and hearing them may touch a chord in you that will be helpful.

    1 What we think of ourselves is due to the decisions we make about ourselves.
     It's the old sticks and stones. If somone speaks ill of us we can remind ourselves how worthy and special we are.

    2 Relationships can go through hell and high water and still survive, but a relationship like that will be built on solid foundations like mutal respect. You might ask yourself how you picture your relationship down the track when your memory will still contain the nastiness you are experiencing.

    3 We have the opportunity to meet so many people in our lives and we can decide not to be around those that don't support us. Imagine you have circles of associates, including friends, work mates, relatives etc. Imagine they support you, are affectionate to you, give you understanding when you make mistakes, love you even when things are difficult and give you a non judgemntal audience when you need it. Letting go of people who don't fit this picture can be a brave and wonderful thing for you to do, for you.
    And you are worth it.

    Recovery will involve time and that can be spent with friends; with yourself, flying solo for a while - which can actually be fun and doing things like meditation can be really helpful.
    My very best to you,
    Ralph Graham

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  • 1


    Bruce Jenkins

    Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    ABOUT BRUCE Registered psychologist since 1991 Broadly Humanistic approach with special interest in Person Centred therapy Over sixteen years experience as a supervisor Taught Counselling … View Profile

    Your situation sounds difficult and stuck. And it does sound like this relationship might not be enhancing your life very much.

    I hope this does not sound confronting, but I wonder if you have thought about what YOU want from a relationship?
    Is the current one delivering for you? Do you feel respected and safe?

    If not, talking to someone like a professional psychologist/counsellor can be really helpful. I'd also suggest having a think about whether you have a preference for a female or male counsellor.

  • Pamela Hoy

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Offering both Hypnotherapy and Counselling for my clients is a double opportunity to change unwanted feelings, thoughts, behaviours and reactions. Accessing both the conscious and … View Profile

    I wonder if you have considered asking your boyfriend if he would attend couples counselling with you, and if you had, what his reaction was?  If you have not asked him, it may be a good idea to suggest it. A trained counsellor or psychologist can offer a great deal of assistance to the couple as to how they may overcome these problems by:
    Each client discussing their individual concerns regarding the other person.
    The clients explain the negative effects each experiences by the others words or behaviours.
    Guiding the couple how to let go of the past resentments and burdens.
    How to stop going back to old hurtful experiences.
    Developing strategies how to communicate more effectively.
    How to progress their relationship in a more respectful and meaningful manner.

    If your boyfriend is not willing to attending counselling, I would suggest you attend individual sessions  to regain your self esteem.  This will help you to decide whether you wish to continue with the relationship or end it.

    You did not mention if there was any physical violence in the relationship. If there has been or it is continuing, I would recommend you leave him as soon as possible.  Your safety both physically and emotionally are your priority.

    I wish you a happy future.


  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It sounds to me like you are describing a violent relationship - that is, your boyfriend is using violence in a way that erodes your self-esteem and is making you anxious. Violence is not only about being physically hurt. It includes any behaviour that is used to control or frighten someone in order to have power over them and make them do things they may not want to do.
    You may want to check out this link which describes all the different forms of how violence can be used in intimate relationships to see if you think you may be in this situation yourself
    Just because someone is violent doesn't mean they cannot receive help to change their behaviour and find more respectful ways to get their needs met in a relationship. If your partner is willing, he may benefit from doing some of this work with a counsellor who is skilled in working with behaviour change. You may also benefit from some support for yourself to say ‘no’ to unacceptable behaviour and build your self-esteem.

    All the best, Vivienne

  • I am a psychologist in private practice.I also lecture and supervise psychologists/psychology students at University.I work with clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. I … View Profile

    The other psychologists and counsellors have all offered some good insights into your difficulties. From what you have said, your relationship difficulties are causing you quite a lot of stress. Without knowing all of the details of what has occured over time,  it is difficult to know how best to advise you other than to suggest that you get some personal counselling with someone who can really get to know you (in person).

    I can also suggest that when Bruce Jenkins asked you what you wanted, he was offering you something quite helpful to consider. When things get very emotinal in relationships, we can sometimes lose a sense of what we really want in our lives (and what we don't want). It is a confronting but an important question to ask yourself. What kind of relationship do you want for your self and how do you think you might go about getting it?

    I wish you well and hope you find a good psychologist or counsellor to talk to soon.

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